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European Tourism is Doing Just Fine


European tourism remains on track for a strong year after experiencing impressive growth over the summer.

According to a new report from the European Travel Commission, international tourist arrivals to Europe grew 8 percent in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, 32 of 34 destinations across the region saw tourist arrivals increase over that time. Half of those places even recorded double-digit growth.

Iceland’s tourism boom has cooled slightly but continued thus far, with the country reporting a 30 percent rise in international visitors over the first two-thirds of the year compared to the same eight-month period in 2016.

Meanwhile, a surge in Russian visitors has helped Turkey rebound impressively. The destination posted a 26 percent rise in international arrivals over the first eight months of 2017. The figure was spurred by a whopping 800 percent boost from the Russian market after debilitating travel restrictions were lifted.

Other notable countries that have experienced double-digit growth include Slovenia (19 percent), Serbia (19 percent), Malta (17 percent), Cyprus (15 percent), Belgium (12 percent) and Spain (10 percent).

Despite Brexit and the devalued pound, more than three out of four European destinations saw growth from the all-important U.K. market over the first eight months of 2017.

China (17 percent), the U.S. (14 percent) and India (14 percent) have also been key markets for the region to this point, the commission points out.

“European tourism demand is set on an upward trajectory. This momentum is expected to mark the eighth consecutive year of growth despite safety and geopolitical challenges,” said the European Travel Commission’s executive director, Eduardo Santander in a statement. “To sustain growth tourism stakeholders need to unite efforts and develop initiatives to strengthen the European tourism industry.”


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