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Developments in the balance of travel services – October 2019

23/12/2019 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in October 2019 showed a surplus of €1,191 million, compared with a surplus of €1,212 million in October 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in October 2019 rose by 4.1% to €1,442 million, from €1,385 million in October 2018, while travel payments also increased by 44.8% (October 2019: €250 million, October 2018: €173 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 2.3% year-on-year increase in average expenditure per trip, as well as to a rise of 1.9% in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 73.2% of total net receipts from services and offset 58.0% of the goods deficit.

In January-October 2019, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €15,224 million, up from a surplus of €13,718 million in the same period of 2018. This development is attributed to an increase, by 13.1% or €2,033 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 29.7% or €528 million. The rise in travel receipts was driven by a 9.3% increase in average expenditure per trip and by a 3.7% rise in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 78.0% of the goods deficit and accounted for 76.2% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In October 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts increased by 4.1% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 rose by 1.3% to €890 million, whereas receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 10.2% (October 2019: €487 million, October 2018: €442 million). The rise in receipts from within the EU28 was due to a 2.2% increase in receipts from euro area residents (October 2019: €628 million, October 2018: €614 million), as receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries fell by 0.9% to €262 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 7.0% to €341 million, while receipts from France fell by 9.6% to €82 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom increased by 6.9% to €155 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States decreased by 22.1% to €125 million, while receipts from Russia increased by 156.8% to €46 million.

In January-October 2019, travel receipts totalled €17,530 million, up by 13.1%, relative to the same period of 2018. This development was driven by a 12.5% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €12,067 million, and by a 15.2% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €5,033 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents rose by 7.7% to €7,447 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 21.3% to €4,620 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany fell by 4.2% to €2,782 million, while receipts from France increased by 16.2% to €1,084 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also rose, by 36.7% to €2,582 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States increased by 10.3% to €1,085 million and receipts from Russia increased by 27.5% to €415 million.

Inbound traveller flows[1]

The number of inbound visitors in October 2019 stood at 2,773 thousand, compared with 2,723 thousand in October 2018. Specifically, visitor flows through airports declined by 1.5%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 13.4%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from outside the EU28 (up 11.5%), as visitor flows from within the EU28 decreased by 1.7%. In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area fell by 6.2% to 1,151 thousand, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 5.5% (October 2019: 795 thousand, October 2018: 753 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 2.8% to 595 thousand, while visitors from France also decreased by 18.0% to 129 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom rose by 11.9% to 283 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from the United States fell by 24.2% to 125 thousand, whereas visitors from Russia increased by 81.3% to 82 thousand.

In January-October 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 3.7% to 29,727 thousand (January-October 2018: 28,680 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 1.3% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 8.4%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 2.8% year-on-year to 21,179 thousand, while visitors from outside the EU28 rose by 5.9% to 8,548 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area declined by 4.0%, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 10.6%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 8.2% to 3,907 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 1.9% to 1,513 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 19.5% to 3,424 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from the United States increased by 9.1% to 1,107 thousand, while visitors from Russia rose by 11.6% to 552 thousand.

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

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

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