Positive Tourism Trends in EU

Central and Eastern European registered the highest increases in EU tourism arrivals. Central and Eastern European registered the highest increases in EU tourism arrivals.

Almost 973 million passengers travelled by air in the European Union in 2016, 5.9% more than in 2015 and 29% more than in 2009.

Central and Eastern European registered the highest increases, with Bulgarian and Romanian air traffic climbing by 22.5 % and 20.5 % respectively. The two regional leaders were followed by Hungary (up 14.1%), Croatia (13.8 %), and Lithuania (13.3%).

According to Eurostat, the total number of people travelling by air from the CEE-EU 11 member states exceeded 211 million, reported.

With the exception of Iceland, Finland and Portugal, it is the CEE region that enjoyed the highest growth in tourism arrivals, with Montenegro—23% in the first half of 2017—leading the way. The small Balkan country was followed by Bulgaria (17%), Serbia and Croatia (each with a 15% increase).

Accommodation performance has also been positive in 2017, based on data to May.

In Eastern Europe, occupancy rates grew by 5.8%. Occupancy rates in several countries in the region continue to rebound from the lows of 2014 and 2015, with notable growth in Lithuania (9.5%) and the Czech Republic (8.3%). Poland saw a slight drop in occupancy (0.1%) with a more significant fall of 3.8% in Latvia.

In Southern Europe, occupancy was up 4%. Croatia was far and away the best-performing country in the sub-region, and indeed across Europe as a whole, with occupancy up 33.8%.

The report’s top 50 includes seven emerging Europe countries with Croatia ranked highest—32nd, followed by Estonia (37th), the Czech Republic (39th), Slovenia (41st), Bulgaria (45th), Poland (46th) and Hungary (49th).

The index measures factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.


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