Tourism Economics: Europe’s Long Haul Travel Recovery

This is the presentation given by David Goodger of Tourism Economics at a joint press conference with ETOA and our partners at the European Travel Commission (ETC) at ITB in March 2023.

It is a summary of the latest Tourism Economics analysis for ETC with a focus on prospects for long-haul source market recovery. 

Succinctly presented, this report contains a wealth of data and insight relating to long-haul source market performance and prospects including: 

  • Outbound travel from the Middle East had virtually regained its pre-pandemic volumes by autumn of last year, while Asia-Pacific outbound travel remained 62% below where it had been in 2019 
  • Prior to the pandemic long-haul source markets accounted for one-quarter of all international visitor nights in Europe 
  • It is expected that the relative share of long-haul travel to European destinations will be close to 2019 levels by 2024 
  • The USA has been the long-haul market to show the swiftest rebound, and ahead of the pandemic was the leading long-haul source market for Europe 
  • While overall visits from the USA to Europe are forecast to be at 80% of 2019 levels in 2023 destinations in Western and Northern Europe are expected to see volumes akin to those of four years ago 
  • While now seeing eased travel restrictions arrivals from China are expected to remain 60%-70% below where they had been in 2019 during the current year due to limited capacity and the need for long-haul traveller confidence to be fully restored 
  • Full recovery in the Chinese market is not expected until 2026 
  • India and Brazil are forecast to see a fairly strong rebound in 2023, but this may benefit some European destinations disproportionately