International arrivals in Europe still hit on third quarter of 2016, softened by resilience in long-haul travel

The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer* produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys highlight that terrorist fear is still weakening arrivals in Europe for Q3 2016.

Strong decrease of international travel tempered by long haul travel
International travels dropped by -3.5% while the long haul segment (excluding intra-European flows) remains resilient, slightly decreasing by -0.3%. This stabilisation of the long haul segment is mainly due to the increase in travellers from the Americas and Middle East.
As a result of the visa exemption for some countries in Latin America such as Colombia and Peru, Central & South America regions rose slightly by 0.5 %. The Middle East was impacted by the Ramadan timing effect. Asia and Oceania shrank by -3.3%, likely due to growing alternative destinations to Europe and Japanese travellers concerned about European safety.

Long haul travellers top growing destinations are mainly cities of the Iberian Peninsula, but German cities are also generating interest

Top growing European destinations for long haul travellers Q3 2016

Top growing European destinations for long haul travellers Q3 2016

Six cities of the Iberian Peninsula – Valencia, Seville, Barcelona, Madrid, Mallorca and Lisbon – were among the top 10 growing destinations. The steady growths of Barcelona (+9.5%) and Madrid (+8.5%) are noticeable by the fact that they are already among the group of most relevant destinations in terms of volume. Hamburg (+11.4%) and Berlin (+6.5%) demonstrate the interest that German cities are generating.
(See complete graph on left).

International bookings to Europe see recovery in Q4 2016 compared to previous year

International bookings for arrivals in Q4 2016 as of September 30th are down -1.7%. It’s better than the previous quarter, the Intra European travellers being less negative this time. The Asia & Oceania region is down by -5.5% impacted by the Japanese. North America is slowing down but remains positive.
As expected, the post-referendum and cheaper British pound boosted London as a key European destination. The slight decline of -0.6% is an improvement when compared with previous reports. Northern Europe and South-Western Europe, along with Dubrovnik, are the fastest growing booking areas. Safety is one of the strongest prerequisites that travellers demand and the rest of Europe is being affected by the fear of terrorism.

All ECM members have exclusive access to the complete European Cities Marketing-ForwardKeys Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer with all the graphs and analysis.


*This analyse is based on Air Reservation Data propriety of ForwardKeys® as of 30th September 2016.
Perimeter: Includes air reservations made by passengers arriving in Europe and staying at least one night in destination, therefore excluding: “Transits”, “Day trips”, “One-way trips” and “Returns”.
Arrival period: 1 July – 30 September 2016 vs. 1 July – 30 September 2015.
Booking situation for next quarter: 1 October – 31 December 2016 vs. 1 October – 31 December 2015 according to bookings issued as of 30 September 2016 and as of 30 September 2015.


* European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries.

Contact information
Flavie Baudot,, +33 380 56 02 00

* is a service of Forward Data S.L, a Market Research and Consulting Company registered in Spain. ForwardKeys is a Business Intelligence service bringing a new approach to operational traveller data intelligence for Hotels Chains, Tourism boards and Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) leveraging non confidential Air reservation information. ForwardKeys provides to:
DMOs and Tourism Boards with travellers’ trends information and means to monitor and measure the impact of their marketing efforts to drive more business to their destination.
Hotel chains with ways to quantify future demand and anticipate market trends to optimize sales, marketing and revenue management efforts, using traveller’s reservation, source market, arrival, return date and future travel information.

Contact information
Sébastien Cron,, +33 972 221 570