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24/12/2018 - Developments in the balance of travel services: October 2018

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in October 2018 showed a surplus of €1,248 million, compared with a surplus of €1,028 million in October 2017. More specifically, travel receipts in October 2018 rose by 18.3% to €1,408 million, from €1,191 million in October 2017, whereas travel payments decreased by 1.3% (October 2018: €161 million, October 2017: €163 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 15.6% increase in inbound traveller flows, as well as to a rise of 3.4% or €16 in average expenditure per trip. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 69.7% of total net receipts from services and offset 51.9% of the goods deficit.

In January-October 2018, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €13,873 million, up from a surplus of €12,599 million in the same period of 2017. This development is attributed to an increase, by 9.9% or €1,402 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 8.0% or €129 million. The rise in travel receipts reflected a 10.8% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip fell slightly, by €3 or 0.5%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 75.8% of total net receipts from services and offset 73.1% of the goods deficit.

Travel receipts

In October 2018, as mentioned previously, travel receipts increased by 18.3% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 rose by 14.1% to €901 million and receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 31.7% (October 2018: €447 million, October 2017: €339 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were due to increases in receipts from euro area residents by 12.3% to €625 million and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 18.6% to €276 million (October 2017: €233 million). Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany fell by 6.2% to €326 million, whereas receipts from France increased by 73.0% to €90 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom increased by 3.8% to €151 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia fell by 25.0% to €17 million, whereas receipts from the United States rose by 84.8% to €163 million.

In January-October 2018, travel receipts totalled €15,614 million, up 9.9% relative to the same period of 2017. This development was driven by a 12.4% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €10,801 million, and by a 5.1% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €4,398 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 12.3% year-on-year to €6,895 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries also rose, by 12.5% to €3,906 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany rose by 13.6% to €2,839 million, while receipts from France dropped by 5.0% to €935 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 6.1% to €1,901 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia decreased by 20.0% to €328 million, while receipts from the United States increased by 25.0% to €975 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

The number of inbound visitors in October 2018 rose by 15.6% year-on-year to 2,723 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 12.0%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 40.0%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from within the EU28 (up 12.4%), as visitor flows from outside the EU28 declined by 24.8%. In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area rose by 13.4% to 1,227 thousand and visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 10.9% (October 2018: 753 thousand, October 2017: 679 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 7.8% to 612 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 50.6% to 157 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom fell by 13.1% to 253 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia rose by 8.9% to 45 thousand, while the number of visitors from the United States rose by 77.7% to 164 thousand.

In January-October 2018, the number of inbound visitors rose by 10.8% to 28,680 thousand (January-October 2017: 25,891 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 13.4%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 6.7%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 15.7% year-on-year to 20,611 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 edged down by 0.2% to 8,069 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area rose by 16.4%, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 15.0%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 19.0% to 4,259 thousand, as did the number of visitors from France, by 6.4% to 1,485 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 1.7% to 2,865 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 13.7% to 494 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 25.7% to 1,015 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for November 2018 will be published on 22 January 2019.

Related link: Developments in the balance of travel services: October 2018 - Table

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