The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its second quarterly report on European Tourism in 2010 - Trends & Prospects.

The following gives a brief overview of the report for the second quarter of 2010.

The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website under the link below.

Europe is experiencing a recovery in travel from its low points last year. However, this recovery is unlike like past rebounds. Early data for this year show mixed results, with nearly as many countries posting visitor declines as increases. Still, industry data for aviation, lodging, and expectations show we are on an upward, though modest, path to recovery.

Part of the reason for the halting recovery is the Icelandic volcano ash cloud which affected 6 million European travellers in April and May, costing European airlines and destinations US €1.7 billion in net sales.

However, hotel occupancy rates through May indicate recovery is taking place across the region. However, this appears to reflect strength in domestic travel as well as the temporary demand from stranded passengers.

The global economic recovery is underway, with emerging economies in Asia and the Americas exhibiting robust growth. However, growth in the second half of the year is expected to moderate as the rebound in manufacturing subsides and stimulus spending is removed. This will be especially true in Europe as fiscal conditions have necessitated austerity measures in a number of countries, dampening the prospects of an already weak recovery.

Nevertheless, we have reason to be cautiously optimistic for the remainder of the year. Both the euro and sterling have weakened significantly against the dollar, raising prospects for global visits to parts of Europe and increasing the incentive for intra-European travel.

In addition, the latest travel industry surveys show continued optimism over the very near term.

Taking all this into account, Tourism Economics projects modest growth in international travel to European destinations this year. After a 6% decline in visits last year, international visitation is expected to grow roughly 3% in 2010. Growth will accelerate in 2011, when 2008 visitor levels will finally be regained.

The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website under the following link: http://www.etc-corporate.org/market-intelligence/reports-and-studies.html