ForwardKeys: Europe’s summer travel soars

SINGAPORE, 11 July 2024: ForwardKeys’ latest data release, in partnership with ETOA, forecasts Europe is poised for an exceptional summer, with inbound tourism projected to surpass previous records. 

ForwardKeys says 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. This represents a significant influx of visitors from long-haul markets in Asia Pacific (+11%) and the US (+21%).

Photo credit: ForwardKeys.

Fast growth for Central and Eastern Europe 

Central and Eastern Europe are witnessing the fastest growth in inbound tourism after a delayed response 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 faster (+12%) than Southern European destinations (+10%), reflecting a broader recovery trend across all European subregions.

Major European city destinations lead the 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%).

Photo credit: ForwardKeys


China and Japan power bookings to Europe; 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.), partly due to limited China-US connectivity. Chinese airlines are deploying their widebody fleet on routes into Europe instead.

Multi-destination trips to Europe are also popular with Asian travellers heading for Europe this summer. Standout city pairs 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.

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