The European Travel Commission (ETC) has predicted that the willingness to travel will dominate this summer.
According to the recent three-month report “European Tourism Trends & Prospects,” the recovery is in full swing heading into the peak summer season of 2022, with all the savings of travellers collected during the holiday season expected to increase the travel demand, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The ETC forecast also shows that Europe will recover 70 per cent of pre-COVID-19 travel demand this year.
The countries that saw the strongest return in tourist arrivals for 2022 are: Bulgaria by – eight per cent, Serbia by – ten per cent and Turkey by -14 per cent.
In addition, the only destinations that reported data in May that also show a strong recovery are Monaco with -22 per cent, Croatia with -30 per cent, Iceland with -35 per cent, and Slovenia with -37 per cent.
“At the other end of the spectrum, Latvia’s geographical proximity to Russia slows the country’s tourism recovery from the pandemic (-63 per cent) following mass hotel booking cancellations. Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also among the Eastern European destinations exceeding the 50 per cent decline,” the report reveals.
In this regard, the President of ETC, Luís Araújo, said that the restrictions of COVID-19 have returned. He also noted that people are eager to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities and that travel is witnessing a much faster recovery from Europe’s travel businesses. However, staff shortages could prove to be an obstacle to a full recovery.
“Bringing back talent, and making careers in the sector more enticing, is the top priority for European tourism recovery in the coming months. It is also crucial that the EU continues to monitor the impact of inflation on the cost of living – Europe must do everything within its power to ensure that travel does not become inaccessible for the average European,” he pointed out.
As ETC explains, for consumers, the price increase may push them to choose some other destinations with lower costs, such as holidaying within their country of residence or more affordable forms of transport to nearby countries.
Moreover, the continuous delay in the job offer creates staff shortages throughout the European travel and tourism sector due to the strong demand return during 2022. As a result, the main reasons cited for these shortages are the limited pool of available workers, the long lead time for security clearance and the sector is seen as an unstable employment opportunity post-pandemic.
During the pandemic, around 190,000 European aviation workers were laid off. During the first weekend of June, the impact of this absence was felt in countries such as the Netherlands, which saw cancellation rates of up to 11 per cent and up to four per cent in the United Kingdom.
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