Long-haul arrivals during fourth quarter of 2017 consolidated

A year of solid growth for tourism in Europe 


The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer*, produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys, consolidated a year of solid growth for long-haul inbound tourism in Europe, despite terror attacks targeting tourists in some major destinations earlier in 2017. Markets showed more resilience and relatively fast recovery to these tragic events.


Number of long haul travellers increased by 14.1% in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016

All international arrivals in Europe grew by 7.1% in Q4 2017, invigorated by long-haul travellers (+14.1%). While intra-European travel showed moderate growth (+2.8%), arrivals from almost all the other regions maintained growth rates above 10%. Asia and Oceania were the best performing markets.

Leisure travellers had the largest absolute growth

Traveller profile of long-haul arrivals revealed a leisure-related behaviour: the fastest growing segments were those with medium lengths of stay and medium-sized groups (2 to 5 pax per booking). The average lead time extended as a consequence of the fast growth for longer lead time segment (120+ days).

Top 10 destinations reveal a shift towards leisure-related travel

London (18% share) remained the top destination for long-haul travellers, but Paris (16%) gained ground when compared with the equivalent quarter in 2016. Mediterranean destinations Istanbul, Rome, and Madrid, managed to surpass business-related destinations Frankfurt and Amsterdam, revealing a shift towards leisure-related travel in comparison with Q4 2016.

Bookings for Q1 2018 reveal a positive prospect for long-haul arrivals

7 out of 10 top European destinations welcome increased forward bookings with double-digit growth, revealing the healthy outlook for long-haul arrivals in Q1 2018. Forward bookings confirm an optimistic travel outlook for Q1 2018 (international arrivals ahead by 9.7%), again fuelled by long-haul arrivals, ahead by 13.3%. Cities of Istanbul (+52.5%), Amsterdam (+20.1%) and Paris (+17.6%) are the most promising destinations in Q1, appearing in both top 10 rankings by volume and by growth.

All ECM members have exclusive access to the complete European Cities Marketing-ForwardKeys Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer with all the graphs and analysis.

*This analyse is based on Air Reservation Data propriety of ForwardKeys® as of 31st December 2017. Perimeter: Includes air reservations made by passengers arriving in Europe and staying at least one night in destination, therefore excluding: “Transits”, “Day trips”, “One-way trips” and “Returns”.

Arrival period: 1 October – 31 December 2017 vs. 1 October – 31 December 2016.

Booking situation for next quarter: 1 January – 31 March 2018 vs. 1 January – 31 March 2017 according to bookings issued as of 31 December 2017 and as of 31 December 2016.



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