A RISE in trips to and from Europe is expected in 2013, according to the findings of the latest ITB World Travel Trends Report.
The report discovered that Europeans increasingly favour faraway destinations: longhaul travel rose by around four per cent. The main beneficiaries of this trend were the Americas and Asia-Pacific, where inbound tourism rose by two per cent and eight per cent respectively.
However, economic uncertainty in a number of European countries is impacting travel patterns.
Italy reported a five per cent drop in outbound trips and Spain, a two per cent decline. By contrast, the figures for Switzerland and Norway were good. These countries benefited from high exchange rates and reported 10 and six per cent increases in outbound travel respectively. Conversely, despite a flourishing economy, Germany’s figures stagnated, while UK grew marginally.
Despite the economic tensions in Europe, forecasts for 2013 are cautiously optimistic. Overall, the report predicts a moderate increase in European outbound travel of around one to two per cent. Only one-third of Europeans said the recession would affect their travel plans in 2013.
Russian outbound tourism is expected to rise by nine per cent, and UK and German outbound numbers by five per cent and three per cent respectively. Some 28 per cent of Europeans said they wanted to travel more in 2013; 21 per cent said they would be travelling less.
Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, said: “The report’s findings illustrate the wide-ranging impact of economic developments on European tourism forecasts. All the same, the outlook for next year is mostly positive.”