The European Travel Commission has revealed that based on figures for January 2021, Europe marked an 85 per cent decrease in international tourist arrivals.
With Europe working to speed up the vaccination programmes over the forthcoming months and control the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its mutations, the expected easing of restrictions gives some hope for travel to be safely restored in summer 2021.
Nevertheless, the international travel demand is anticipated to remain lower than the pre-pandemic figures, until 2024 at least, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Through its quarterly report called “European Tourism Trends & Prospects”, ETC outlined that regardless of the hardships in terms of the vaccine roll out in recent months, the injection programmes are fundamental to enable the restart of travel.
The optimism for restoring travel is backed up by the demand, which shows that 56 per cent of Europeans are willing to travel by the end of August.
In a press release issued by ETC, it was pointed out that the recurrence of COVID-19 cases and its mutations together with quarantine and testing requirements discouraged travel in 2020 and 2021, with the figures revealing an 85 per cent decrease in international tourist arrivals to Europe in the first month of 2021.
According to ETC, the latest predictions estimate that international arrivals in Europe during 2021 will continue to remain 46 per cent below the level registered in 2019, with the full recovery of the sector not expected earlier than 2024.
Furthermore, the EU COVID-19 Certificate, which is planned to be introduced during June, is expected to support the reopening of travel in Europe in 2021, hopefully by the end of August.