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Europe reports 10th year of growth despite some slowdowns

TORONTO — Europe saw an increased number of tourist arrivals in 2019, reports the European Travel Commission (ETC), though the rate of growth was slower than previous years.

According to the organization’s latest quarterly ‘European Tourism Trends and Prospects’ report, Europe enjoyed a 4% increase in tourist arrivals last year, marking the tenth consecutive year of growth and following a 6% increase in 2018.

Though the region’s overall performance remains positive, geopolitical tensions and a weaker global economic activity pose several challenges.

Canadians contributed towards strong expansion in tourist arrivals for Turkey (+30%) and Slovakia (+25%), while Slovenia and Lithuania both registered a healthy 18% increase in Canadian arrivals. Other top performing destinations include Cyprus (+15%), Montenegro and Austria (13%) and the United Kingdom (+11%), all of which recorded double-digit growth in arrivals from Canada.

However, several European destinations saw steep falls in travel from Canada in 2010, including Iceland (-30%), Latvia (-16%) and Poland (-14%). In total, nine countries recorded flat growth in either arrivals or overnights from Canadians last year.

Looking ahead, the annual average growth of travel from Canada to Europe is forecast to be 3% over the five-year period 2018-2023. Regionally, destinations in Northern Europe (=5%) are expected to benefit the most from the increase in Canadian travellers. Western Europe is predicted to see a 4% growth during this period, while Southern Europe and Central Eastern European are expected to see a 2% and 1% increase, respectively.

“It’s great to see the overall increase for the tenth consecutive year of 4%,” said Dana Welch, Chair of ETC’s Canada Chapter. “With the current landscape, it remains critical for the ETC to work closely with our travel trade partners in Canada to remain competitive. We look forward to working closely together to help support continued growth from Canada.”