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European Tourism Looking up After Healthy Growth in Summer

Iceland saw 30% growth in tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2017. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Colin13362 / Istock.com)

Iceland saw 30% growth in tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2017. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Colin13362 / Istock.com)

Iceland leads the way in Europe's tourism sector.

International tourist arrivals to Europe grew 8% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, according to a report from the European Travel Commission.

Healthy growth is good news for Europe's tourism industry, which has suffered from the effects of several acts of terrorism in recent months and years. In fact, 32 of 34 European destinations covered by the report saw increase in tourist arrivals.

Since the scope of the report extends to the wider geographical area, Iceland once again leads the way in Europe's tourism sector. With arrivals up 30%, Iceland's tourism boom continues, confirming the country as a major travel trend. Turkey is also tempting back tourists, with international visitors up 26%. Similarly, Belgium saw healthy 12% growth, bouncing back after the Brussels attacks in March 2016.

Even Spain -- which suffered a terrorist attack in Barcelona last August -- saw growth of 10% in tourist arrivals.

Plus, upcoming destinations in Southern Europe are carving out a place in the market, such as Slovenia (+19%), Serbia (+19%), not to mention Malta (+17%) and Cyprus (+15%).

The report points to the return of Russian tourists to Europe as one explanation for this healthy performance. Chinese visitors were also up an estimated +17% in 2017.

first published:November 17, 2017, 17:20 IST