News ID: 271289
Published: 0827 GMT July 10, 2020

Domestic, short haul travel crucial for European tourism

Domestic, short haul travel crucial for European tourism

According to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest quarterly report “European Tourism: Trends & Prospects”, the global health crisis has left the tourism sector in Europe facing a crisis like no other, with heightened uncertainty surrounding its recovery.

Latest forecasts indicate that travel to Europe is expected to be 54 percent lower this year than in 2019, reported.

To minimize the knock-on effects of the outbreak, economies in Europe are starting to reopen while stimulating tourism to salvage the summer holiday season and limit the financial fallout from the pandemic. The pace of recovery by destination will vary and will depend on the extent to which they rely on international source markets and the revival of consumer confidence.

The recovery of travel to all destinations worldwide will depend on economic factors, the speed with which travel restrictions are lifted, the health of the aviation industry, and the risk aversion of potential travelers. The likelihood of a stable and quick recovery of travel demand is likely to be greater for destinations that rely more heavily on domestic and short-haul travelers. Lower cost of travel, remaining international travel restrictions, uncertainty around transport availability as well as a heightened risk aversion is likely to increase consumer preference for traveling closer to home.

The average share of domestic travelers is at 44.5 percent within European country destinations, while short-haul arrivals amount for 77 percent of all travelers. Combining both arrivals from within the country and reliance on short-haul travel, Germany, Norway and Romania are the most resilient and likely to be quicker and more stable in recovery. On the contrary, Iceland, Montenegro and Croatia have the lowest score with greater risk in recovery. These destinations have small domestic tourism markets and a much higher reliance on international demand, including a sizable proportion of travel from markets outside Europe which will be more likely to be subject to restrictions for longer.

The report noted that tourism as we knew it has ceased to exist, while success lies on swiftly embracing digitalization and leveraging new technologies to adapt to the “new normal” and to shifts in consumer behavior. A sector traditionally characterized by human interactions will now have to provide the same valuable intangible aspects through more touchless methods in a more digitalized world. Sustainability will be key in building a resilient and more competitive sector through the implementation of a model that is economically, socially, and environmentally viable in the long-term.

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