Forecasts delivered by a report from the European Travel Commission have found some good news for the continent, as Europe should expect a 3 per cent increase in overnight travellers as more visitors enjoy business travel or holidays in 2011.
The ETC’s Trends and Prospects report indicated there will be increased interest in Europe as a long-haul destination in 2011 and 2012 as worldwide markets continue to recover and holidaymakers have more to spend on getaway’s to the continent’s most famous cities, including Paris and Rome.
At the peak of the economic recession, 2009, the number of overnight travellers visiting the continent contracted by 4.4 per cent to 875.3 million visitors, but 2010′s gains put the travel destination back at the same position as 2008, though still under the numbers of pre-recession travel.
“Though we may not have emerged fully from the turbulence of the past two years, we are clearly experiencing the tailwinds of recovery,” the ETC report said.
Nevertheless, the travel bureau – formed of the association of 36 national tourism organisations – forecast growth for most destinations in the continent.
“We observe visitor growth for the vast majority of destinations,” the report stated. “However, we remain in the recovery process with visitor levels still below our 2008 peak.”
“Looking forward, the economic recovery is more firmly entrenched and there are some positive signs.”