Press Releases

Developments in the balance of travel services: December 2018

21/02/2019 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €14 million in December 2018, compared with a surplus of €25 million in December 2017. More specifically, travel receipts in December 2018 rose by 40.0% to €266 million, from €190 million in December 2017, while travel payments increased by 53.1% (December 2018: €252 million, December 2017: €165 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 16.8% increase in inbound traveller flows, as well as to a rise of 20.2% or €67 in average expenditure per trip. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 2.8% of total net receipts from services and offset 0.8% of the goods deficit.

In 2018, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €13,943 million, up from a surplus of €12,725 million in 2017. This development is attributed to an increase, by 10.1% or €1,483 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 13.9% or €265 million. The rise in travel receipts reflected a 10.8% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip edged down by €1 or 0.2%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 72.0% of total net receipts from services and offset 62.0% of the goods deficit.

Travel receipts

In December 2018, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 40.0% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 rose by 4.4% to €115 million and receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 90.9% (December 2018: €149 million, December 2017: €78 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were driven by a 22.0% increase in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries to €46 million, as receipts from euro area residents decreased by 4.8% to €68 million (December 2017: €72 million). Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany fell by 18.4% to €16 million, whereas receipts from France increased by 85.4% to €8 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom increased by 23.1% to €23 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose by 175.8% to €9 million, while receipts from the United States also increased by 84.4% to €23 million.

In 2018, travel receipts totalled €16,113 million, up 10.1% relative to the previous year. This development was driven by an 11.9% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €11,034 million, and by a 7.3% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €4,662 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 12.9% year-on-year to €7,110 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 10.1% to €3,924 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany increased by 16.1% to €2,965 million, while receipts from France decreased by 3.8% to €956 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 5.9% to €1,943 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia fell by 19.2% to €338 million, whereas receipts from the United States rose by 28.1% to €1,043 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

The number of inbound visitors in December 2018 rose by 16.8% year-on-year to 657 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 12.2%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points also increased by 25.9%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from both outside the EU28 (up 29.0%) and within the EU28 (up 6.1%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area decreased by 2.6% to 138 thousand, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 14.0% (December 2018: 181 thousand, December 2017: 159 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany rose by 1.1% to 38 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 70.9% to 13 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom fell by 23.1% to 34 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia increased by 94.8% to 17 thousand, as did the number of visitors from the United States, by 30.2% to 33 thousand.

In 2018, the number of inbound visitors rose by 10.8% to 30,123 thousand, up from 27,194 thousand in 2017. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 13.6%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 6.4%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 15.1% year-on-year to 21,398 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from outside the EU28 rose only slightly, by 1.3% to 8,725 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area rose by 15.9% and visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 14.2%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 18.2% to 4,381 thousand, as did the number of visitors from France, by 7.3% to 1,524 thousand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 2.0% to 2,943 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia fell by 11.6% to 520 thousand, whereas the number of visitors from the United States rose by 26.9% to 1,097 thousand.

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

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

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

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