As our recent webinar in partnership with ETOA revealed, Europe is poised for an exceptional summer, with inbound tourism projected to surpass previous records. Overall, international arrivals to Europe in July and August show year-on-year growth of +12%, just above the global average (+11%). This growth is driven primarily by intra-regional travel — up +10% compared to 2023 — and a significant influx of visitors from long-haul markets in Asia Pacific (+11%) and the USA (+21%).

Increases in flight searches and ticket bookings indicate a robust interest in European destinations, despite the lingering effects of global economic challenges — due in part to major events taking place during the summer season. However, some economic uncertainty may be reflected in faster growth for economy-class seats (+11%) over 2023, in comparison to premium-class tickets which remain around 2023 levels (+1%).

Central and Eastern Europe Growing Fastest After Slow Reactivation

Central and Eastern Europe are witnessing the fastest growth in inbound tourism after a delayed reactivation period due to the war in Ukraine. This summer, the region expects a remarkable 23% increase in tourist volumes compared to last year. Northern Europe is also on track to grow at a faster rate (+12%) than Southern European destinations (+10%), reflecting a broader trend of recovery across all European subregions.

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Top Performing Cities Reveal Urban Destinations Lead

Urban city destinations are leading the charge in Europe’s tourism revival, outpacing traditional sun and beach holidays. Cities like Munich (+37%), which benefits from key sporting events this summer, are seeing significant growth. The pattern is balanced across European subregions, with substantial increases throughout the continent including Vienna (+23%), Edinburgh (+19%), Madrid (+16%) and Venice (+16%).

While medium-length stays continue to represent the largest share of intra-regional arrivals (63%), short trips of one to three nights show the highest growth over 2023 at +23%, accounting for 16% of all stays. Long trips — over two weeks — see more modest growth at +5%.

Asia Pacific Reactivates, Powered by China and Japan

The Asia Pacific region is beginning to show signs of reactivation, with impressive growth in arrivals coming from China (+64%) and Japan (+53%) compared to 2023. Although overall volumes are still below pre-pandemic levels, improvements in air connectivity have led to a surge in travel from these countries. China in particular is responsible for a much larger share of seat capacity than pre-pandemic (+12 p.p.), in part due to China—US connectivity remaining limited, meaning that Chinese airlines are deploying their widebody fleet on routes into Europe instead.

Multi-destination trips are also in demand from the Asia Pacific market this summer. Standout city pairings include Budapest—Vienna (+118%), Milan—Munich (+106%), Prague—Amsterdam (+71%) and Istanbul—Athens (+63%) reflecting the popularity of urban European destinations for Asian travellers looking to combine cultural, historic and shopping activities.

Events Continue to Drive Up Demand

Events are playing a crucial role in driving up tourism demand. Arrivals to Germany — hosts of the UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament — show growth of +19% compared with the same period in 2023. Demand for travel during the Olympic Games in Paris is also higher than last year, with top-performing markets including China (+124%), Japan (+57%), Germany (+32%), and the USA (+25%). Looking at destination cities for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour reveals a significant uplift in arrivals around the concert dates versus the summer period as a whole — including Stockholm (+136% vs +15%), Warsaw (+203% vs +31%) and London (+45% vs +12%).

These granular shifts—closely tied to specific event dates—reveal the importance of major events in powering growth even amidst economic downturns, as demand remains high for “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences. Destinations with well-developed infrastructure, such as stadiums, concert halls, or festival venues, can benefit significantly.


The outlook for European tourism this summer is exceptionally positive. With record-breaking growth anticipated, driven by intra-regional travel and key markets like the USA and Asia Pacific, Europe is demonstrating a tourism recovery comfortably above the global average.

The rapid reactivation of Central and Eastern Europe, the dominance of urban city destinations, the resurgence of travel from Asia Pacific, and the impact of major events all contribute to this optimistic forecast. As the season unfolds, European destinations are well-positioned to capitalise on these trends.
However, with well-publicised protests against mass tourism taking place across some of Europe’s most popular destinations, the importance of accurate and reliable travel intelligence to managing tourism flows sustainably and balancing the interests of visitors and locals is ever more apparent.

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2024-07-09T07:59:20+02:0009/07/2024|All, DMO|
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