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Developments in the balance of travel services: November 2019

21/01/2020 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in November 2019 showed a surplus of €87 million, compared with a surplus of €153 million in November 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in November 2019 fell slightly by 0.8% to €314 million, from €316 million in November 2018, whereas travel payments increased by 38.9% (November 2019: €226 million, November 2018: €163 million). The drop in travel receipts reflected a 16.9% year-on-year decrease in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows increased by 18.2%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 16.2% of total net receipts from services and offset 5.2% of the goods deficit.

In January-November 2019, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €15,373 million, up from a surplus of €13,872 million in the same period of 2018. This development is attributed to an increase, by 13.0% or €2,049 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 28.2% or €548 million. The rise in travel receipts was driven by an 8.7% increase in average expenditure per trip and by a 4.0% rise in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 72.5% of the goods deficit and accounted for 74.7% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In November 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts declined by 0.8% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 decreased by 2.0% to €158 million and receipts from outside the EU28 fell by 1.6% (November 2019: €131 million, November 2018: €133 million). The fall in receipts from within the EU28 was driven by a 6.9% drop in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries (November 2019: €47 million, November 2018: €51 million), as receipts from euro area residents rose marginally, by 0.3% to €110 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany decreased by 6.6% to €32 million and receipts from France fell by 43.3% to €9 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also fell, by 18.9% to €19 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States decreased by 37.8% to €22 million and receipts from Russia also decreased, by 5.9% to €8 million.

In January-November 2019, travel receipts totalled €17,863 million, up by 13.0% relative to the same period of 2018. This development was driven by an 11.6% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €12,147 million, and by a 16.5% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €5,244 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents rose by 8.5% to €7,621 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 17.3% to €4,526 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany edged down by 0.1% to €2,937 million, whereas receipts from France rose by 14.7% to €1,087 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also rose, by 32.9% to €2,541 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States increased by 13.6% to €1,157 million and receipts from Russia increased by 28.0% to €426 million.

Inbound traveller flows[1]

The number of inbound visitors in November 2019 stood at 930 thousand, compared with 786 thousand in November 2018. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 5.9% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 43.5%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from both within the EU28 (up 15.6%) and outside the EU28 (up 22.1%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area rose by 7.4% to 248 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 23.6% (November 2019: 292 thousand, November 2018: 236 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 15.1% to 72 thousand, while visitors from France also fell by 39.8% to 16 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom rose by 12.9% to 50 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from the United States fell by 13.2% to 43 thousand, whereas visitors from Russia increased by 106.7% to 19 thousand.

In January-November 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 4.0% to 30,656 thousand (January-November 2018: 29,466 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 1.4% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 9.5%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 3.0% year-on-year to 21,719 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 increased by 6.6% to 8,937 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area declined by 3.7%, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 10.9%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 8.4% to 3,979 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 1.2% to 1,529 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 19.4% to 3,474 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from the United States increased by 8.0% to 1,150 thousand, while visitors from Russia rose by 13.4% to 571 thousand.

Notes: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for December 2019 will be published on 21 February 2020. 

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

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