Long haul travels in 1st quarter 2016: high resilience of Europe despite terrorist attacks

The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer* produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys reveal that in Q1 2016, International trips were down by -0.7% due to Intra-European travels down by -2.8% (compared to Q1 2015). Conversely, long haul travels are up by +3.4%.

ECM ForwardKeys - International Arrivals Q1 2016

North America leads the long haul arrivals in Europe
North American market increased by +6.1% and is leading the way in Q1 2016. Asia & Oceania, up by +2%, slowed down, likely due to the fear of new attacks in Europe and the major attractiveness within their own region. Central & South America declined by -0.9% mainly due to geopolitical events and devalued currencies.

Dubrovnik and the Iberian Peninsula are the top growing destinations for long haul arrivals
Dubrovnik was the fastest growing destination city during Q1 2016 (+37.1%). The Iberian Peninsula remains the top growing region in Europe with four Spanish cities – Barcelona, Mallorca, Madrid and Valencia – in the top 10 fastest growing destination cities, as well as the Portuguese Madeira, the World Leading Island Destination in 2015.

Long haul trips to Europe during Q1 2016: long-term bookings increased steadily
Stays of 6 to 8 nights and 9 to 13 nights are growing by +5.9% and +6.4%, respectively. Early bookers (more than 4 months in advance) increased by +24.3% while bookings issued between 1 and 4 months declined. The huge increase in early bookers can be explained by the increase in long haul travellers.

Terrorism impacted the bookings for arrivals in Q2 2016 in Paris, Istanbul and London, giving a competitive advantage to other cities in Europe
The cities hit directly by terrorism are seeing decreases in bookings for arrivals in Q2 2016. Long haul travels to Paris decreased by -9% and -31.7% to Istanbul. Collateral damages are experienced by London, which declined by -2.4% while it has not been hit by terrorists attacks.
Nordic cities remain as top performers along with the Spanish cities. Tallinn is the fastest growing destination in bookings for arrivals in Q2 2016 (+38.2%) followed by Valencia (+32.3%), Helsinki (+28%), Barcelona (18.9%) and Mallorca (+16%).

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


*This analyse is based on Air Reservation Data propriety of ForwardKeys® as of 31st March 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 January – 31 March 2016 vs. 1 January – 31 March 2015.
Booking situation for next quarter: 1 April – 30 June 2016 vs. 1 April – 30 June 2015 according to bookings issued as of 31 March 2016 and as of 31 March 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, press@europeancitiesmarketing.com, +33 380 56 02 00

* ForwardKeys.com 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, press@forwardkeys.com, +33 972 221 570