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21/06/2019 - Developments in the balance of travel services: April 2019

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in April 2019 showed a surplus of €200 million, compared with a surplus of €209 million in April 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in April 2019 rose by 6.9% to €537 million, from €503 million in April 2018, while travel payments also increased by 14.6% (April 2019: €337 million, April 2018: €294 million). The rise in travel receipts reflected a 20.2% increase in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows decreased by 11.3%. Net receipts from travel services offset 11.6% of the goods deficit and accounted for 31.2% of total net receipts from services.

In January-April 2019, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €412 million, up from a surplus of €336 million in the same period of 2018. This development is attributed to an increase, by 22.8% or €241 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 22.8% or €164 million. The rise in travel receipts is attributed mainly to a 22.6% increase in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows rose only slightly, by 0.5%. Net receipts from travel services offset 5.3% of the goods deficit and accounted for 18.9% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In April 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 6.9% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 fell by 5.4% to €296 million, whereas receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 30.4% (April 2019: €209 million, April 2018: €160 million). The fall in receipts from within the EU28 was due to a 21.1% decline in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries (April 2019: €74 million, April 2018: €94 million), as receipts from euro area residents rose by 1.3% to €222 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany decreased by 34.5% to €55 million, as did receipts from France, by 21.2% to €41 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom fell slightly, by 0.8% to €40 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States rose by 3.4% to €36 million, while receipts from Russia fell by 46.7% to €4 million.

In January-April 2019, travel receipts totalled €1,297 million, up 22.8% relative to the same period of 2018. This development was driven by an 8.5% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €694 million, and by a 48.1% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €566 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 5.9% year-on-year to €462 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 14.1% to €232 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany fell by 13.3% to €140 million and receipts from France decreased by 2.0% to €68 million. By contrast, receipts from the United Kingdom rose by 39.9% to €115 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States increased by 60.7% to €112 million, as did receipts from Russia, by 16.7% to €19 million.

Inbound traveller flows(1)

The number of inbound visitors in April 2019 fell by 11.3% year-on-year to 982 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports declined by 1.1%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points decreased by 30.4%. This decrease in flows was due to lower visitor flows from within the EU28 (down 17.4%), as visitor flows from outside the EU28 rose by 0.6%. In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area increased by 1.4% to 389 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries decreased by 38.4% (April 2019: 212 thousand, April 2018: 345 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 24.0% to 107 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 7.3% to 66 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom fell by 22.1% to 64 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from the United States edged up by 0.5% to 51 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from Russia fell by 15.1% to 12 thousand.

In January-April 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 0.5% year-on-year to 2,918 thousand (January-April 2018: 2,903 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 10.8%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points declined by 13.4%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 decreased by 7.0% year-on-year to 1,674 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 increased by 12.7% to 1,244 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area declined by 0.4% and visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries fell by 13.6%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 15.6% to 285 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 21.0% to 121 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 13.2% to 207 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from the United States increased by 27.9% to 155 thousand, while visitors from Russia rose by 40.6% to 42 thousand.

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

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

Related Link: Developments in the balance of travel services: April 2019 - Table