Europe travel demand, though damaged, is improving significantly, ETC CEO reveals

European hotels have seen a spike in interest, the European Travel Commission (ETC) has revealed.

According to Eduardo Santander, CEO and Executive Director of ETC, consumer interest in staying at hotels or resorts jumped 13%, reaching its highest level since September 2020. Additionally, 25% of respondents expressed a preference for independent hotels. Continent-wide, Europe reported a 10.5% increase in hotel occupancy in April, May and June, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

“European short-term rental bookings have recovered for [down just] 33% of 2019 levels through 2021, and now sits just behind North America, making it second in terms of global region recovery,” Santander said.

In addition, quarterly report findings shared by the CEO of ETC showed that more than two-thirds of Europeans plan to travel domestically or abroad in the last quarter of 2021, including the last three months of the year or in the first months of 2022. citizens who plan to travel abroad say they are more confident of traveling to Poland (73%), Spain (72%), Italy (68.3% ), the Netherlands (68.2%) and Germany (67.5%).

>> ETC reveals the performance of key EU travel markets in 2021

Santander also noted that Europe’s performance in 2021 was weak, as more than half of the markets saw declines as low as 74% of pre-pandemic levels.

In addition, he pointed out that Greece was the first country to open its border to tourists, which led to a strong recovery in tourism – in general, hotels in Greece only reached a 19% lower capacity. to that of 2019. Several other European markets reported an increase in tourist arrivals, notably in Croatia, Montenegro, Luxembourg and Monaco.

“Croatia was able to extend its outstanding off-season performance, welcoming 1.9 million tourist arrivals in September,” Santander said.

>> ETC: EU tourism down 77% – Greece and Croatia among the most prosperous destinations

However, the rest of Europe has seen a substantial decline in tourist arrivals, with the Czech Republic at the bottom of the scale. Additionally, Santander said travel prospects to Czechia had been damaged by strict COVID-19 restrictions in the first half of the year.

More than 20% of the Czech Republic’s international tourists come from long-haul markets, with China and the United States ranking as the fourth and sixth largest markets at pre-pandemic levels.

Additionally, Finland saw a decline in inbound arrivals in 2021. However, at pre-pandemic levels, Russia was Finland’s main source market, accounting for 12% of all arrivals. Nevertheless, such facts have not weakened Finland’s strict policies, as none of the Russian-made vaccines are recognized by Finnish authorities.

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