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Tourism: no return to normal before … 2023!

2020 has been the worst year for European tourism in 30 years. In all the countries of the continent, arrivals fell by 51 to 85%, a figure which is even between 70 and 79% for a third of the member countries. Figures that unfortunately no longer surprise with all the measures we have seen, and the first months of 2021 do not look rosier.

And at a time when we are talking about the first relaxations in the coming weeks, that the closure of Belgian borders is extended (for the moment) until April 1 and that Germany has also taken measures to protect itself from foreign variants, hard to see the end of the tunnel with optimism. “Despite the distribution challenges that have plagued the EU in recent weeks, the rollout of vaccines across Europe and improved testing and tracing regimes give hope for a relaxation of travel restrictions in 2021”, Notes the ETC report nonetheless.

And its executive director, Eduardo Santander, to discuss the most likely scenario in the coming months. “We believe that the slow restart of travel can be expected in the spring across Europe with a gradual return to the ‘new normal’ until summer and fall 2021. A return to travel will however come with new ones. consumption habits, calling for strong adaptation and agile responses from the tourism sector. Ensuring safe travel opportunities should become a priority for destinations, as potential travelers are likely to travel slower, closer to home, and to lesser-known destinations.

So the message is pretty clear, we should experience a summer like last year, with travel within the European Union and restrictions to consider depending on the circulation of the virus to one or the other. place of the mainland. All this to consider a year 2022 similar to what we knew before the pandemic? Nothing is less certain since the European Commission of Tourism rather evokes a return to normal in… 2 years. “The return to typical patterns of international travel demand will be gradual, with 2019 levels expected to return by 2023.

And in the ranking of countries with the fewest arrivals last year, we find Montenegro in the lead (-85%), Cyprus (-84%) and Romania (-83%). By comparison, Spain recorded a decrease of 77% and Austria is the country which is doing the “best” with a decrease of 53%.

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