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Developments in the balance of travel services: September 2018

21/11/2018 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in September 2018 showed a surplus of €2,277 million, compared with a surplus of €2,260 million in September 2017. More specifically, travel receipts in September 2018 rose by 0.3% to €2,441 million, from €2,434 million in September 2017, whereas travel payments decreased by 6.1% (September 2018: €164 million, September 2017: €174 million). The rise in travel receipts was due to a 4.9% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip fell by €22 or 4.3%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 81.0% of total net receipts from services and more than offset (110.0%) the goods deficit.

In January-September 2018, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €12,625 million, up from a surplus of €11,571 million in the same period of 2017. This development is attributed to an increase, by 9.1% or €1,184 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 9.0% or €131 million. The rise in travel receipts reflected a 10.3% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip fell slightly, by €5 or 0.9%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 76.4% of total net receipts from services and offset 76.2% of the goods deficit.

Travel receipts

In September 2018, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 0.3% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 2.9% to €1,725 million, while receipts from outside the EU28 fell by 5.7% (September 2018: €650 million, September 2017: €689 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were due to increases in receipts from euro area residents by 2.7% to €1,055 million and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 3.2% to €669 million (September 2017: 648 million). Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 8.1% to €494 million, whereas receipts from France fell by 15.4% to €113 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom decreased by 17.4% to €301 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 4.1% to €50 million, whereas receipts from the United States dropped by 16.0% to €136 million.

In January-September 2018, travel receipts totalled €14,205 million, up 9.1% relative to the same period of 2017. This development was driven by a 12.2% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €9,900 million, and by a 2.7% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €3,951 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 12.3% year-on-year to €6,270 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 12.0% to €3,629 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany rose by 16.9% to €2,513 million, while receipts from France dropped by 9.3% to €845 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased by 6.8% to €1,750 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia decreased by 19.7% to €311 million, while receipts from the United States increased by 17.4% to €812 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1) 

The number of inbound visitors in September 2018 rose by 4.9% year-on-year to 4,869 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 11.5%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points declined by 5.7%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from within the EU28 (up 12.3%), as visitor flows from outside the EU28 declined by 12.0%. In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area increased by 12.2% to 1,799 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries also rose, by 12.3% (September 2018: 1,834 thousand, September 2017: 1,633 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 20.3% to 740 thousand, while visitors from France fell by 0.6% to 218 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom also decreased by 2.2% to 528 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 0.4% to 75 thousand and the number of visitors from the United States dropped by 15.7% to 142 thousand.

In January-September 2018, the number of inbound visitors rose by 10.3% to 25,957 thousand (January-September 2017: 23,535 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 13.6%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 5.0%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 16.1% year-on-year to 18,631 thousand, while visitors from outside the EU28 fell by 2.2% to 7,326 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area rose by 16.8%, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 15.4%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 25.1% to 3,647 thousand, as did the number of visitors from France, by 2.9% to 1,327 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom decreased slightly, by 0.5% to 2,612 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 15.5% to 449 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 19.0% to 851 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for October 2018 will be published on 24 December 2018.

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

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

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