Demand for international routes has been “surprisingly strong” given the circumstances, says Air Canada, but if Canada doesn’t reciprocate global entry privileges soon, we could see more ...
TORONTO — The stats for arrivals into Europe for the first four months of this year are understandably grim but Tourism Ireland’s Dana Welch, Chair of ETC’s Canada Chapter, says the ETC is committed to working with Canadian travel advisors to get tourism to the continent back on track.
For Jan. – April 2020 Europe posted a 44% decline in international tourist arrivals compared to the same period in 2019. Eight out of sixteen destinations reporting arrivals to April/May registered drops of more than 50%.
From Canada, only Czech Republic (+7%) and Poland (+4%) reported growth in overnights from Canada for the four-month period, despite declines in arrivals based on data to March. The countries with the biggest declines in Canadian arrivals were Croatia (-95%), Iceland (-72%), Slovenia (-67%), Cyprus (-67%), Hungary (-66%) and Romania (-61%).
The stats are part of the latest ‘European Tourism Trends and Prospects’ update, the ETC’s quarterly report. The full report can be downloaded at https://etc-corporate.org/
Welch notes that border restrictions for Canadian residents have been gradually reduced since July 1, as Europe begins to re-open for international travel.
“We are committed to working with our travel partners across Canada on promotional activities to help build consumer confidence and to rebuild together,” says Welch.
As reported on travelweek.ca on June 18, a new website complete with interactive map has all the latest travel info and regulations in the wake of COVID-19. The new interactive site, called ‘Re-open EU’, provides real-time information on borders and available means of transport and tourism services, as well as health and safety measures and restrictions across all EU Member States (27 countries).
Users can view regulations country by country, and within each country’s listings, click on different icons, colour-coded green, yellow or red, for updates on arrival regulations by various modes of transport, quarantine restrictions and more.
The site is available in all 24 languages of the EU.
The ETC says 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.
Even though much of Europe has reopened to Canadians, travellers here are still dealing with Canada’s advisory against non-essential travel as well as the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in or returning to Canada.
Current forecasts estimate a 1% annual average growth of travel from Canada to Europe over the five-year period 2019-2024.
Regionally, destinations in Northern Europe (+2.2%) are expected to attract most of the growth in Canadian travellers. Western Europe is predicted to see a 1.7% growth during this period, while Southern Europe and Central/Eastern Europe are expected to see a 0.3% increase and -5.8% decline.
Travelweek’s recent interview with Air Canada’s Virgilio Russi, Managing Director of Sales, International, highlights the discrepancy and potential pitfalls of non-reciprocity, now that Europe has reopened to Canadians, all while Canada continues to discourage inbound travel with the 14-day quarantine.