Turkey was the fastest-growing European destination of 2018. Image: Photosensia/Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews
Turkey was the fastest-growing destination in Europe in 2018
AFP Relaxnews / 12:43 PM February 17, 2019
Thanks in part to strong visitor numbers from the United States and China, Europe maintained its position as the most visited region in the world in 2018, recording a six percent uptick in international tourist arrivals compared to the previous year.
That’s according to the latest report from the European Travel Commission, which released the latest tourism figures for 2018.
Of the 33 reporting destinations, 32 saw growth last year, with only the United Kingdom recording a decline.
Turkey reported continued recovery in 2018, with a 22 percent growth in international arrivals compared to the previous year, following a particularly bloody 2016, marred by terrorist attacks at the Ataturk International Airport and in Istanbul.
The second fastest-growing destinations in Europe were Serbia and Malta (+15 percent), followed by Montenegro (14 percent).
The strength of the U.S. dollar against the euro and British pound is credited with attracting 33 million U.S. tourists to Europe in 2018, up eight percent over 2017.
Chinese tourist arrivals to Europe also increased nine percent in 2018, thanks to improved air connectivity and visa procedures, as well as an expanding Chinese middle class.
The cloud of Brexit, however, looms heavy over the 2019 outlook, with growth expected to slow to three percent, and outbound trips from the U.K. estimated to drop by 8 million trips.
Here are the top 10 fastest-growing destinations in Europe in 2018: