23rd World Travel Monitor® Forum: European outbound travel strong, but safer destinations preferred

Boing 747 London - BangkokThe latest World Travel Trends Report has forecast that whilst European outbound tourism will increase in 2016, travellers are now prioritising safety when selecting a destination. The report is based on surveys conducted by the IPK World Travel Monitor® and published exclusively by ITB Berlin.

Europeans will keep travelling abroad in 2016 but could favour safer destinations amid continuing conflicts around the world, according to tourism experts. These were some of the results of the 23rd World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, Italy (October 26 – 28).

This year the number of outbound trips made by Europeans increased by about 4.5 percent over the first eight months, according to preliminary World Travel Monitor® results from IPK International. This once again represented good growth following a rise of 3 percent in 2014 and similar low single-digit growth rates in the last few years. Overall, European outbound travel grew by 13% from 2009 to 2014, reaching a total of 444 million outbound trips last year.

However, demand for different destinations fluctuated strongly this year, with some countries in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East suffering in particular. Dr Martin Buck, Messe Berlin’s Senior Vice President, commented: “Many destinations have faced problems this year, keeping travellers away, sometime in droves. European tourists are choosing safer destinations, and in some cases they are even shifting from international trips to holidays within their country.”

Looking ahead to next year, IPK currently predicts a 2.8 percent rise in European outbound travel, based on IPK’s European Travel Confidence Index which measures travel intentions for the next year. According to the index, 70% of Europeans are looking ahead positively and want to travel at least as much in 2016 as this year. Confidence is highest in the UK and Spain (both +6 percent), indicating good growth ahead for those source markets next year.