Border restrictions across Europe began to come down on 01JUL as the region gradually re-opened for international travel. Canada is one of 14 countries whose citizens are allowed to enter.
But after three and a half months of closed borders, the effects on international tourism to Europe have been dire, according to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest quarterly report, which found the region saw a dramatic 44% decline in international arrivals during the first four months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
Eight out of 16 destinations registered reductions in excess of 50%, the report found.
As Europe reopens, the pace of recovery will vary by destination and depend on the extent to which each country relies on international source markets and the revival of consumer confidence, the ETC notes.
Only the Czech Republic (+7%) and Poland (+4%) reported growth in overnights from Canada, despite declines in arrivals based on data to MAR.
Croatia (-95%), Iceland (-72%), Slovenia (-67%), Cyprus (-67%), Hungary (-66%) and Romania (-61%) saw the biggest declines in Canadian arrivals.
The ETC says “the outlook is weak” for Canadian travel to Europe, with only low levels of growth expected in the foreseeable future. Current forecasts estimate a 1% annual average growth of travel from Canada to Europe between 2019 and 2024.
Destinations in Northern Europe (+2.2%) are expected to attract most of the growth in Canadian travellers, Western Europe is predicted to see a 1.7% growth during this period, and Southern Europe and Central/Eastern Europe are expected to see a 0.3% increase and -5.8% decline, respectively.
“With the gradual reopening across Europe, we recommend advisors visit the re-open EU interactive platform as it is a great resource for updated guidelines by country,” says Dana Welch, Chair of ETC’s Canada Chapter.
“We are committed to working with our travel partners across Canada on promotional activities to help build consumer confidence and to rebuild together.”
Click here to view the ETC’s full report.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ’s newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she’s new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.