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22/04/2019 - Developments in the balance of travel services: February 2019

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in February 2019 showed a surplus of €51 million, compared with a surplus of €19 million in February 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in February 2019 rose by 29.6% to €209 million, from €161 million in February 2018, while travel payments also increased by 10.7% (February 2019: €158 million, February 2018: €143 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 24.7% increase in average expenditure per trip, as well as to a rise of 4.0% in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 3.0% of the goods deficit and accounted for 10.4% of total net receipts from services.

In January-February 2019, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €117 million, up from a surplus of €32 million in the same period of 2018. This development is attributed to an increase, by 41.1% or €129 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 15.5% or €44 million. The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 32.0% increase in average expenditure per trip, as well as to a rise of 7.0% in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 3.0% of the goods deficit and accounted for 12.3% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In February 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 29.6% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 27.3% to €121 million, whereas receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 33.2% (February 2019: €88 million, February 2018: €66 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were due to increases in receipts from euro area residents by 16.1% to €70 million (February 2018: €61 million) and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 46.9% to €51 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 12.5% to €24 million and receipts from France increased by 41.9% to €8 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also increased, by 123.0% to €26 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia fell by 54.0% to €3 million, whereas receipts from the United States rose by 118.5% to €14 million.

In January-February 2019, travel receipts totalled €441 million, up 41.1% relative to the same period of 2018. This development was driven by a 32.0% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €241 million, and by a 54.3% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €200 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 21.2% year-on-year to €141 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 50.8% to €100 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany increased by 19.4% to €49 million and receipts from France increased by 68.1% to €16 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also increased, by 96.8% to €43 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 60.0% to €10 million and receipts from the United States increased by 58.3% to €28 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

The number of inbound visitors in February 2019 rose by 4.0% year-on-year to 504 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 14.0%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points declined by 9.2%. This increase in flows is attributed to higher visitor flows from both within the EU28 (up 1.7%) and outside the EU28 (up 7.0%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from the euro area declined by 1.4% to 132 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 4.7% (February 2019: 148 thousand, February 2018: 141 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 14.2% to 40 thousand, whereas visitors from France increased by 30.9% to 14 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom increased by 118.7% to 54 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 12.0% to 9 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 52.6% to 19 thousand.

In January-February 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 7.0% year-on-year to 1,164 thousand (January-February 2018: 1,088 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 20.4%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points declined by 7.2%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 2.7% year-on-year to 664 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 increased by 13.2% to 500 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area rose by 3.5% and visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 2.1%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany edged down by 0.4% to 108 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from France increased by 37.5% to 26 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom increased by 55.1% to 92 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia increased by 65.3% to 19 thousand, as did the number of visitors from the United States, by 27.7% to 44 thousand.

Note
: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for March 2019 will be published on 22 May 2019.

Related link: Developments in the balance of travel services February 2019 -Table

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