Long haul travels at the end of 2015: Europe keeps its competitive edge after Paris attacks

The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer1 produced by European Cities Marketing* and ForwardKeys** reveal that, during Q4 2015, all international arrivals maintained their level with only a 0.7% decrease following Paris attacks from November 13th, while long haul travels in Europe stayed on the right track.

International arrivals in Europe 1 October - 31 December 2015

International arrivals in Europe 1 October – 31 December 2015 (% Var vs Prev Year)

During Q4 2015 long haul arrivals grew despite Paris attacks…

During the fourth quarter of 2015 long haul travels into Europe grew by +3.1%. Travellers from North America, and Asia & Oceania rose strongly (+3.5% and +6.9% respectively) fostered by strong dollar and the emerging markets in Asia – Pacific (APAC).

On the other hand, Intra-European flows decreased by -2.7% due to Paris attacks on November 13th, the Brussels lockdown and the eroded relationship between Russia and Turkey. This noticeably hindered the tourism sector.

…However international bookings to Europe for Q1 2016 are slightly declining

Overall international bookings for flights to Europe during Q1 2016 are down by -0.9%. Intra-European travellers will still be affected by latest events in Q1 2016. Central & South America have reduced their volume, as many countries have devalued their currencies and are subject to uncertainty concerning political stability.

Paris bookings in Q1 2016, significantly affected (-16.9%), may have been transferred to Madrid and Barcelona, up by +24.1% and +32.1% respectively. Madeira and Dubrovnik are also seeing more advanced bookings in comparison to Q1 2015.


Thomas Deschamps, Statistical Research Manager at Office du Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris commented: “Despite the attacks, Paris remained the second largest destination for long haul travels in Q4 2015. Following these kinds of terrorist attacks, tourism recoveries usually occur rapidly. After the 9/11 attacks, New York has regained a ‘normal’ tourists number the following spring. In Madrid, the 2004 bombings had no impact on tourist numbers. Each situation is unique, but it’s quite reassuring in the sense that it demonstrates resilience from tourists about the terrorist threat.”

Standard profile for long haul trips to Europe during Q4 2015: long-term bookings, solo travellers, 1-8 days

Stays in Europe between 6 and 13 nights are growing faster, but stays up to one week still represent 55% of total stays in Europe in Q4 2015. 42% of total bookings were issued more than 2 months in advance. This is in line with the increase on long haul trips from North American, and Asia & Pacific.

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 31st December 2015.
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 October – 31 December 2015 vs. 1 October – 31 December 2014.
Booking situation for next quarter: 1 January – 31 March 2015 vs. 1 January – 31 March 2014 according to bookings issued as of 31 December 2015 and as of 31 December 2014.




* 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