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Developments in the balance of travel services: November 2016

23/01/2017 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €52 million in November 2016, down 48.6% from a surplus of €101 million in November 2015. More specifically, travel receipts in November 2016 fell to €219 million (down 13.8% from €255 million in November 2015), whereas travel payments increased by 9.0% (November 2016: €168 million, November 2015: €154 million). The fall in travel receipts resulted from a 24.0% decline in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows rose by 11.7%. Net receipts from travel services offset 3.2% of the goods deficit and accounted for 11.2% of total net receipts from services.

In January-November 2016, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €11,156 million, down 7.7% from a surplus of €12,084 million in the same period of 2015. This development was driven by both a decrease in travel receipts (down €914 million or 6.6%) and an increase in travel payments (up €14 million or 0.7%). The fall in travel receipts resulted from an 11.2% decline in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows rose by 4.9%. Net receipts from travel services offset 74.0% of the goods deficit and accounted for 75.5% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In November 2016, as mentioned previously, travel receipts declined by 13.8% year-on-year. Looking at the breakdown by visitor’s country of origin, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 3.9% (November 2016: €127 million, November 2015: €122 million), while receipts from outside the EU28 dropped by 34.6% (November 2016: €78 million, November 2015: €119 million). The rise in receipts from within the EU28 was due to a 5.1% increase in receipts from euro area residents to €74 million in November 2016, from €70 million in November 2015, as well as to a 2.3% rise in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 22.8% to €25 million, while those from France fell by 30.4% to €7 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 19.5% to €23 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 113.3% to €8 million, while those from the United States fell by 47.5% to €11 million.

In January-November 2016, travel receipts decreased by 6.6%, relative to the same period of 2015, to €13,027 million. This development is attributed to lower receipts from both within the EU28 (down 3.3% to €9,016 million) and outside the EU28 (down 15.0% to €3,549 million). In particular, receipts from euro area residents fell by 7.1% to €5,529 million, while those from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 3.5% to €3,487 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany dropped by 4.2% to €2,135 million and those from France by 25.2% to €890 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 3.1% to €1,943 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 3.6% to €431 million, while those from the United States fell by 23.7% to €713 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

The number of inbound visitors in November 2016 rose by 11.7% year-on-year to 717 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 9.2% and those through road border-crossing points by 13.2%. This development is attributed to higher visitor flows from within the EU28 (up 25.5%), as those from outside the EU28 fell by 5.4%. In greater detail, visitors from the euro area rose by 22.1% to 179 thousand and those from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 27.8% (November 2016: 267 thousand, November 2015: 209 thousand). Specifically, visitors from Germany increased by 27.0% to 60 thousand, while those from France fell by 14.3% to 15 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 2.9% to 52 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from Russia rose by 69.7% to 14 thousand, while visitors from the United States rose by 4.2% to 23 thousand.

The number of inbound visitors in January-November 2016 increased by 4.9% to 24,235 thousand (January-November 2015: 23,112 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 8.6%, while those through road border-crossing points fell by 4.9%. In the period under review, visitors from within the EU28 increased by 14.3% year-on-year to 16,883 thousand, whereas those from outside the EU28 fell by 11.8% to 7,353 thousand. Visitors from the euro area rose by 8.7% and those from the non-euro area EU28 countries by 21.1%. Specifically, visitors from Germany rose by 11.5% to 3,100 thousand, while those from France fell by 13.5% to 1,305 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom rose by 20.6% to 2,859 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from Russia increased by 16.0% to 584 thousand and those from the United States by 3.4% to 756 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for December 2016 will be published on 21 February 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: November 2016 - Table

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