According to a recent report by ForwardKeys, a partner of the City Destinations Alliance, this summer, the European tourism industry has recorded higher levels compared to those of 2019. Despite inflation, extreme heatwaves, and wildfires in the Mediterranean, the volume of tourists from the United States has significantly increased. Flight bookings to Northern Europe increased by 25% YoY between June and August, and bookings to the south increased by 13%. According to STR, in July, the occupancy rate (OR) across the continent was only 4% lower than July 2019 levels.
Similarly, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) reached record levels, with Paris seeing a 79% increase in ADR in July compared to 2019. Eduardo Santander, the Director-General of the European Travel Commission, stated that despite the economic situation, the region’s economies were supported by a successful summer season. While international visitors played a significant role, this year’s tourism industry success cannot be solely attributed to them. Greece was the only European destination where flight bookings for the June-August 2021 period exceeded those of 2019, with a 10% increase, according to ForwardKeys. In Italy, on the other hand, the hottest and southernmost parts of the country saw a decline in tourists, unlike cities like Venice, Rome, and Florence, where international visitors were significant.
The increasing number of foreign tourists has raised old concerns about overtourism in some of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Amsterdam recently banned cruise ships from entering the port, while Portofino warned tourists of fines of 270 euros if they lingered in crowded areas taking selfies. In Venice, an entrance fee has recently been approved for the upcoming spring.