Demand for European Travel Down 20 Percent from Pre-COVID Levels.

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February 17. Uncertainty brought about by the Omicron variant negatively impacted Europe’s travel and tourism sector at the end of the fourth quarter 2021, hampering prospects for its recovery in the first quarter of 2022. Nonetheless, optimism remains as the European Travel Commission (ETC) predicts tourist arrivals to be just 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels in 2022, in spite of numerous challenges still facing the sector.

In 2021, strong vaccination coverage in Europe, the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate and the easing of travel restrictions set fertile grounds for a tourism revival. But the emergence of the Omicron variant at the year-end stunted this recovery as travel restrictions were reinstated to battle record-breaking infection rates.

Tens of thousands of commercial flights throughout Europe were cancelled over the Christmas period due to staffing shortages. Although not as severe as when the pandemic originally took hold in 2020, airline losses totaled €18.5 billion in 2021 resulting in a staggering 1.4 billion to 1.5 billion fewer passengers than in 2019.

This turn of events was demoralizing after a summer season of promising recovery. Overall, year-to-date data informs estimates of a 62 percent decrease in tourist arrivals to Europe in 2021 over 2019 levels. ETC notes that European destinations continue to recover at varying rates.

Source: Insider Travel.

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104500cookie-checkDemand for European Travel Down 20 Percent from Pre-COVID Levels.