Cheap holidays in Europe are making a recovery, according to the latest quarterly report from the European Travel Commission (ETC).
The European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects report said that although the continuing economic downturn and the crisis in the Eurozone has led analysts to revise their growth predictions downward, there have been many encouraging signs that an increasing number of people are taking advantage of the great deals available on European holidays and travel in Europe.
One of the major signs cited in the report was the “robust demand” experienced by Europe’s air carriers last month. The ETC report said that with just once exception, the weekly growth rates for European airlines were greater than 6 per cent – and almost 8 per cent on average over the third quarter of 2011. It went on to note that seat capacity had almost kept pace with the increased demand, leading to stable load factors on European flights.
When it came to demand for Europe’s hotels, there were also encouraging signs, with almost a 4 per cent increase in August across the board, with a 7.3 per cent increase in occupancy rates in eastern Europe and a 5.2 per cent increase in southern Europe. This will come as little surprise to anyone who has been following the travel trends on this site and elsewhere, since cheap holidays in eastern Europe are now highly recommended from all quarters, and cheap holidays in Spain and the Mediterranean islands – plus the Canary Islands – have been touted as a great value way to experience some autumn sunshine. Western Europe’s rate of expansion when it comes to demand for hotel rooms has been somewhat less spectacular, however, achieving just 2.4 per cent.
The summary statement by the ETC was optimistic, declaring that “by the end of 2011, we expect international visits to Europe to have surpassed records set in 2008.”