Fastest growing European destinations revealed by ETC report

European Travel Commission finds UK is the only country with a decrease in arrivals during 2018.

Istanbul, capital of Turkey
Istanbul, capital of Turkey

Turkey was the European country with the highest rate of growth for international visitors in 2018, increasing 21.8% year-on-year, according to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) quarterly report for Q1 2019.

Overall growth in international arrivals to Europe was 6% in 2018, although this is predicted to fall slightly to 3.5% for 2019.

All but one of the 34 reporting destinations had more arrivals and/or overnight stays compared to a year ago, except the UK, which experienced a 4% decline.  

"It looks likely that there will be a lengthy delay to the UK’s departure from the EU, probably until at least the end of 2019, in an attempt to ensure that Brexit is ‘orderly’," said the ETC report.

"This will delay the anticipated recovery in the value of sterling and prolong the drag from uncertainty on business investment. While OE still expect GDP growth of 1.4% this year, its forecast for 2020 has been revised down to 1.8% from 2.0% last month."

After Turkey, Serbia and Malta had the next highest growth in arrivals with both increasing by just over 14% for 2018.

"While 2018 was a record year for Malta, it faces renewed competition from destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, which may have been considered somewhat unsafe in recent years, but for which perceptions are now improving."

Montenegro also demonstrated impressive growth in arrivals for 2018 with an increase over the year of 13.7%. The ETC report suggested that developments such as the Porto Montenegro project, which has converted a former shipyard into a luxury yachting destination, could see this growth continue into 2019.  

"Emerging destinations are increasingly portraying themselves as exciting and immersive alternatives to congested areas," added the report.  

You can find the full ETC report here.


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