Eurozone Crisis Impacts Southern Europe Destinations

18 Nov 2012

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European Central Bank

To what degree does negative reporting on countries in crisis impact on their tourism statistics? This was the question ITB Berlin and the market research institute IPK International examined as part of a travel trend assessment by the World Travel Monitor. Their conclusion was that, compared with last year, arrivals in Greece from northern and central Europe were in decline.

All other Southern European holiday destinations were less badly affected and were able to balance losses and even grow.
From January to August 2012, compared with 2011, arrivals in Greece fell by 12 per cent. This figure is put into perspective when one looks at last year, when Greece benefited indirectly from the Arab Spring and grew by 7 per cent. Preceding years had already witnessed a slight decline.  Italy, Spain and Portugal fared better. In 2011 arrivals in Italy grew by four per cent. Overall, Italy reported two per cent growth in tourism.

The Iberian peninsula was also able to balance a large part of its losses by gaining new source markets. Thus, in 2011 Spain benefited significantly from the political situation in the Arab countries and reported eight per cent growth in arrivals. Spain is becoming an increasingly popular destination with new source markets and reported a double-digit increase in arrivals from Russia and Scandinavia. Overall, trips to Spain rose by 3 per cent this year. The situation is similar in Portugal. Trips to Portugal grew by three per cent.

“There is an evident decline in trips between countries in crisis. Demand in central Europe has remained more or less constant and has even grown in the new markets“. That was how Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, commented in this analysis. “The study highlights the complex relationship between the eurozone crisis and arrivals in Southern Europe.“

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