Phocuswright spotlights key European markets

Research authority releases new reports underlining tourism market trends

Phocuswright has released comprehensive reports on the eve of ITB Berlin, outlining major trends in Europe, with interesting spotlights on the French and German markets. Following is a small foretaste of their comprehensive findings.

Germany well positioned to remain Europe’s largest travel market

Although revenue was projected to dip slightly to €61.4 billion in 2018, travel gross bookings will rebound in 2019, increasing 3% annually to reach €68.7 billion in 2022. Germany is experiencing strong economic growth and record low unemployment, which fell to 4.9% in October 2018, the lowest since the country’s 1990 reunification. German GDP rose 2.1% in 2017, which matched the European Union average and bested the United States.


These economic trends are translating to domestic optimism, and German desire to travel hit a 10year high in 2017. Nearly 60% of Germans took a holiday of five days or longer within the country. At the same time, German accommodation providers registered more than 140 million German guest arrivals, a 3% year- over-year increase. Germany’s reputation as a global travel destination is also growing, and international arrivals climbed 5% in 2017. Expanding numbers of tourists are coming from the Netherlands, China, India, Taiwan and South Korea. Germans venturing beyond their country’s borders favour nearby European destinations such as Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.

Modest growth projected for France

Following several highly challenging years due to repeated terrorist attacks coupled with a weak economy, the French travel market began mounting a recovery in 2017. Since the election of reformist President Emmanuel Macron, the country has reduced its budget deficit to within European Union (EU) guidelines, while at the same time curtailing unemployment and restoring consumer confidence. Stronger security measures have also allayed concerns about terrorism, and the overall outlook for the travel sector is favourable.

Leisure travel including inbound, domestic and outbound is on the rise. International visitors have returned, while French consumers have resumed their traditional pattern of taking a long summer vacation along with multiple shorter trips throughout the year. Business travel, particularly that associated with meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) has also recovered, thanks in part to the renewed economic stability. In addition, the government has intensified its efforts to support the tourism sector, announcing ambitious plans to grow international arrivals to over 100 million by 2020.

While continued growth remains dependent on the terrorism situation in the country, events such as the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris should help cement growth in the medium term.
Still, the outlook is not entirely positive. A series of rolling strikes by France’s strong public and private sector unions is adversely affecting the attractiveness of France as a destination. And given the importance of the UK as a major inbound market, continuing uncertainty over Brexit remains a worry. As a result, the French travel market is projected to grow modestly for the next several years, climbing from €47.9 billion in 2018 to €53.7 billion by 2022

Hall 7.1c / Stand 101