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24/10/2017 - Developments in the balance of travel services: August 2017

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, in August 2017 the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €3,356 million, up 18.5% from a surplus of €2,832 million in August 2016. More specifically, travel receipts rose by 16.4% to €3,522 million in August 2017, from €3,025 million in the same month of 2016, while travel payments decreased by 14.3% (August 2017: €166 million, August 2016: €193 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 14.3% increase in inbound traveller flows and to a rise in average expenditure per trip by 2.2% to €594 in August 2017. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 87.7% of total net receipts from services and more than offset (200.0%) the goods deficit.

In January-August 2017, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €9,238 million, up 11.3% from a surplus of €8,299 million in the same period of 2016. This development was driven by an increase in travel receipts (up €881 million or 9.1%) and a drop in travel payments (down €59 million or 4.4%). The rise in travel receipts was due to a 9.9% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip declined slightly, by 0.3%. Net receipts from travel services offset 74.7% of the goods deficit and accounted for 75.2% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In August 2017, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 16.4% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 36.8% to €2,553 million, whereas receipts from outside the EU28 fell by 17.4% (August 2017: €898 million, August 2016: €1,086 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were due to increases by 50.5% in receipts from euro area residents (August 2017: €1,702 million, August 2016: €1,132 million) and by 15.8% from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries (August 2017: €850 million, August 2016: €734 million). Breaking down receipts by visitor’s country of origin, receipts from France rose by 65.2% to €350 million, as did receipts from Germany, by 76.9% to €595 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also increased, by 36.8% to €467 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 2.9% to €101 million, whereas receipts from the United States decreased by 17.6% to €119 million.

In January-August 2017, travel receipts increased by 9.1%, relative to the same period of 2016, to €10,524 million. This development is attributed to a 14.5% rise in receipts from within the EU28 to €7,117 million, as receipts from outside the EU28 decreased slightly, by 0.2% to €3,104 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents rose by 20.5% to €4,515 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries also increased, by 5.2% to €2,602 million. Specifically, receipts from France rose by 19.0% to €785 million, as did receipts from Germany, by 29.0% to €1,638 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also increased, by 17.7% to €1,512 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 11.2% to €340 million, whereas receipts from the United States decreased by 6.6% to €519 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

In August 2017, the number of inbound visitors rose by 14.3% year-on-year to 5,813 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 7.2%, as did visitor flows through road border-crossing points, by 30.6%. This development is attributed to higher visitor flows from both within the EU28 (up 8.1%) and outside the EU28 (up 32.2%). In greater detail, visitors from the euro area increased by 1.9% to 2,223 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries also rose, by 16.6% (August 2017: 1,841 thousand, August 2016: 1,579 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from France increased by 10.6% to 385 thousand, as did the number of visitors from Germany, by 7.9% to 738 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 3.0% to 567 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia rose by 25.3% to 143 thousand, as did the number of visitors from the United States, by 21.4% to 131 thousand.

In January-August 2017, the number of inbound visitors rose by 9.9% to 18,896 thousand (January-August 2016: 17,195 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows though airports and visitor flows through road border-crossing points both increased by 9.8%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 increased by 8.2%, relative to the same period of 2016, to 12,812 thousand, as did the number of visitors from outside the EU28, by 13.7% to 6,084 thousand. Visitors from the euro area increased by 9.7%, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries also rose, by 6.5%. Specifically, the number of visitors from France increased by 9.6% to 1,071 thousand, as did the number of visitors from Germany, by 13.7% to 2,300 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 8.1% to 2,085 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia increased by 15.4% to 456 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States fell by 0.8% to 547 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for September 2017 will be published on 21 November 2017.


(1) Inbound traveller flows exclude cruise passengers (other than those recorded in the Border Survey).

Related link: Developments in the balance of travel services: August 2017 - Table