After rather promising numbers in 2017, 2018 appears to be even more fruitful for the continent, according to tourist offices surveyed by Tour Hebdo. The United Kingdom even expects to break all of its records, exceeding for the first time the 40 million international visitors’ limit, to reach 41.7 million visitors, with an increase of 4.4% in contrast to 2017.
Croatia seems to be reaching for its historical record. The minister of tourism says that the country should host 20 million international visitors in 2018, in comparison to nearly 18.5 million last year, including 540 000 French arrivals. The Croatian administration announces the opening of 40 new hotels this year, which further expands the hotel capacity of the country.
"We are very pleased with the increased growth of pre- and late-season tourism, including the regions of mainland Croatia," says Daniela Mihalic-Durica, director of the Croatian tourist office in France.
Greece also says farewell to 2017 with a record, with 30 million visitors, with a rise of 7% when compared to 2016. And the year 2018 should make it possible to go even higher, while the number of French visitors is flying to new horizons: "We totaled 1.8 million French tourists in 2017 and according to our estimates, we will be receiving 5 to 7% more in 2018," adds Dimitra Voziki, director of the tourist office of Greece in France
Spain is also hoping to break its record. From January to November 2017, the country received around 77.8 million international visitors, a rise of 9% over the same period in 2016. The number of French visitors stood at 10.7 million. 4.1% increase over the previous year.
Italy is expected to publish record setting numbers for 2017, according to a statement by the Italian Minister of Heritage and Cultural Activities, Dario Franceschini. The positive trend will continue in 2018, heralding a new record. Another destination in growth, Portugal. The country received more than 21 million tourists in 2017, 10% more than the previous year. And no sag is in sight.
"Trends in the sales of packages in agencies, according to the barometer of the Companies of Travel, indicate a rise of 16% for the winter 2017/2018," says Jean-Pierre Pinheiro, director of the tourist office of Portugal in France. "2018 looks good even though winter is not our strongest season."
In Northern Europe, Sweden achieved its best tourist year in 2017. From January to October, the country recorded nearly 15 million foreign overnight stays, with a rise of 5% in comparison to the same period in 2016. No official forecast is currently published for 2018 but Linda Williams, director of the Swedish Tourist Office in France, says that the right direction should continue. 2018 will be the year of all records!