During Q3 2015 international arrivals grew steadily
The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer* produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys bring to light that Europe is feeling better: after more than a year of slowdown and flat growth, Q3 showed a stable 5.2% increase in all international arrivals.
After a period of constant slowdown between Q3 2014 and Q1 2015 followed by flatness in Q2 2015, Intra European flows recorded a growth of 3.2% during Q3 2015.
Long Haul travellers kept on growing more (+8%) than European visitors during Q3 2015:
In Africa, growth finally returned after the Ebola crisis in 2014 while Ramadan shift affecting Q2 and Q3 explains the huge increase in Middle East arrivals.
Q3 2015 was also a period where North America surpassed itself by performing the strongest growth compared to the last four quarters. This is in part due to its strong currency.
Finally, Asia & Oceania has stopped its slowdown and maintains latest growth seen in Q2 2015 despite last Chinese Shanghai Stock market crash and disappointing economic indicators.
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Standard profile for long haul trips to Europe: mid-term bookings, families and groups, 1 week
3 out of 5 international bookings to Europe were issued less than 3 months in advance during Q3 2015 resulting in a growth in short/mid-term bookings that unveils that travellers are becoming more late bookers than in the past.
Meanwhile, strong growths were seen in families and groups (+16.3% for 3 to 5 Pax and +14.0% for 6 or more Pax). This is likely the signal of a growing contribution of emerging markets in the passenger flows.
Regarding the length of stays, the fastest growing segments, grouping most bookings (57%), are stays between 4 and 13 nights, clearly related to leisure visitors.
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International bookings to Europe for Q4 2015 are slowing down
Q4 2015 foresees a slower growth regarding Q3 2015 due to Intra European flows which counteracts the better long haul travellers’ performance.
In Middle East, Q4 2015 bad performance could be caused by the decreasing evolution of oil prices and its subsequent income reduction.
In the meantime, Baltic cities such as Tallinn, Helsinki and Copenhagen are growing faster as they could benefit from the increase of the international visitors within the area in Q4 2015 as well as the Iberian Peninsula which owns 4 cities in the fastest growing cities ranking: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Madeira.
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*This analysis is based on Air Reservation Data propriety of ForwardKeys® as of September 30, 2015.
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 July – 30 September 2015 vs. 1 July – 30 September 2014
Booking situation for next quarter: 1 October – 31 December 2015 vs. 1 October – 31 December 2014 according to bookings issued as of 30 September 2015 and as of 30 September 2014.
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