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The new results from the Air Travelers’ Traffic Barometer produced by European Cities Marketing (ECM) and ForwardKeys highlight that international arrivals in Europe globally increased compared to the previous year and emphasize the importance of long-haul markets.

During the third quarter of 2014, all international source markets grew by +5 percent compared to the previous year, mostly driven by long-haul travelers (+9 percent), while the Intra-European market (standing for 62 percent of all arrivals in Europe) had a modest growth of 2 percent.

ECMChina and the Middle East have driven growth from long-haul markets. While Ramadan’s end was key trigger for arrivals from Middle East, Chinese increase has been constant in the quarter.

The highest growth in longest lead times (+15.5 percent) suggests that leisure trips has driven performance during this third quarter; long lead times represent 26.9 percent of all bookings to Europe in the third quarter of 2014. However, very short lead times (less than 30 days) correspond to 25 percent of all arrivals and keep on growing (+8.8 percent).

Top three cities in volume remain London, Paris and Istanbul, while 4 Spanish cities jump to the top 10 most growing destinations: Valencia, Seville, Palma de Mallorca and Madrid.

Forward bookings trends for international arrivals in Europe during the fourth quarter of 2014 are 3.5 percent in advance versus last year, while long haul markets show a much higher expansion with +7.5 percent, in part due to their typically longer lead times. Forward looking information keeps London and Paris as top 2, while Rome is receiving more bookings than Istanbul. Most growing destinations for arrivals within next months show early bookers grow for Dubrovnik, Milan and Prague.

All ECM members have exclusive access to the complete European Cities Marketing-ForwardKeys Air Travelers’ Traffic Barometer with all the graphs and analyses.

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