LONGHAUL bookings into Europe have steadily declined throughout 2016 as travellers avoid the region following a spate of terrorism related incidents.
For the period between June 1 and August 31, international travel into Europe fell 0.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, bucking the 6.2 per cent average positive growth trend of the last five years, according to data by ForwardKeys.
Tourists in the Sultanahmet Park, near Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
The decline is due to a drastic fall in volume from several major destinations, namely France (-9.6 per cent), Turkey (-26.7 per cent), Germany (-4.1 per cent) and Belgium (-21.4 per cent), which all suffered from dramatic terror attacks this year. Intra-Europe travel meanwhile fell by 6.9 per cent.
The Asia-Pacific (-2.4 per cent), African (-2.8 per cent) and Middle East (-1 per cent) source markets contributed most to Europe’s falling international arrivals, with China (-3.7 per cent), Japan (-18 per cent), the UAE (-13 per cent) and South Africa (-7.7 per cent) contributing most to the declines.
Only the North and South American markets (2.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively) showed positive growth in traffic to Europe.
However, other European destinations are enjoying a diversion in longhaul traffic from affected destinations as they are deemed as being safer to travel to.
Over the same period, Spain (10 per cent), Portugal (5.2 per cent), Ireland (18.1 per cent), Scandinavia (6.1 per cent), Russia (18.2 per cent) and Poland (26.1 per cent) all benefited from the shift in traveller preferences.
The third quarter figures continue from the year’s second quarter declinations of negative 3 per cent year-on-year.