European Travel Commission Reports Signs of Recovery


Although not as steep as in the past, recovery shown in the European Travel Commission's second quarterly report, European Tourism in 2010 - Trends & Prospects, includes aviation, lodging and expectations. Factors include the Icelandic volcano ash cloud that affected six million European travelers in April and May and cost European airlines and destinations $1.7 billion. An increase in hotel occupancy rates in May can be attributed to a rise in domestic travel and demand from stranded passengers.

Growth in the the economies of Asia and the Americas are expected to level out in the second half of the year as the rebound in manufacturing subsides and stimulus spending is removed. This is particularly relevant in Europe, where fiscal conditions have necessitated austerity measures in several countries, further reducing the possibility of a recovery.

Possibility for recovery include weakening of the Euro and Sterling that could increase the possibility of global visits to Europe and incentive for internal European travel. Travel industry surveys also reflect industry optimism in the near future. Tourism Economics predicts modest growth in international travel to Europe this year. Following a 6 percent decline, growths are anticipated to be three percent in 2010. TE expects visitor levels to return to 2008 levels by 2011.