Press Releases

Developments in the balance of travel services – September 2019

21/11/2019 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

 Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in September 2019 showed a surplus of €2,631 million, compared with a surplus of €2,282 million in September 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in September 2019 rose by 16.0% to €2,847 million, from €2,454 million in September 2018, while travel payments also increased by 25.8% (September 2019: €216 million, September 2018: €172 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 10.8% year-on-year increase in average expenditure per trip, as well as to a rise of 5.0% in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 84.4% of total net receipts from services and more than offset (132.2%) the goods deficit.

In January-September 2019, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €14,032 million, up from a surplus of €12,507 million in the same period of 2018. This development is attributed to an increase, by 14.0% or €1,976 million, in travel receipts, which were only partly offset by travel payments, up by 28.0% or €450 million. The rise in travel receipts was driven by a 10.0% increase in average expenditure per trip and by a 3.8% rise in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 80.3% of the goods deficit and accounted for 76.4% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In September 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts increased by 16.0% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 rose by 17.7% to €2,032 million, while receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 12.6% (September 2019: €758 million, September 2018: €673 million). The rise in receipts from within the EU28 was due to increases in receipts from euro area residents by 7.2% to €1,168 million (September 2018: €1,090 million) and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 35.8% to €864 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany decreased by 8.9% to €480 million, whereas receipts from France increased by 53.7% to €177 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also rose, by 67.6% to €478 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States rose by 31.6% to €197 million, while receipts from Russia increased by 17.2% to €55 million.

In January-September 2019, travel receipts totalled €16,088 million, up by 14.0% relative to the same period of 2018. This development was driven by a 13.6% increase in receipts from residents of the EU28, which came to €11,178 million, and by a 15.8% rise in receipts from residents outside the EU28 to €4,546 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents rose by 8.2% to €6,820 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 23.0% to €4,358 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany fell by 5.6% to €2,441 million, while receipts from France increased by 19.0% to €1,002 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also rose, by 39.2% to €2,427 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from the United States increased by 16.6% to €960 million and receipts from Russia also increased by 19.9% to €368 million.

Inbound traveller flows

The number of inbound visitors in September 2019 stood at 5,111 thousand, compared with 4,869 thousand in September 2018. Specifically, visitor flows through airports declined by 1.5%, whereas visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 19.6%. This increase in flows was due to higher visitor flows from both within the EU28 (up 5.5%) and outside the EU28 (up 3.5%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area fell by 5.9% to 1,693 thousand, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 16.6% (September 2019: 2,139 thousand, September 2018: 1,834 thousand). Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 11.8% to 653 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 7.3% to 233 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also rose, by 24.2% to 655 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from the United States increased by 37.6% to 195 thousand and visitors from Russia increased by 8.4% to 81 thousand.

In January-September 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 3.8% to 26,953 thousand (January-September 2018: 25,957 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 1.6% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 8.0%. In the period under review, the number of visitors from within the EU28 rose by 3.2% year-on-year to 19,233 thousand, while the number of visitors from outside the EU28 increased by 5.4% to 7,720 thousand. Visitors from within the euro area declined by 3.7%, whereas visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries increased by 11.0%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany decreased by 9.2% to 3,312 thousand, whereas visitors from France rose by 4.3% to 1,384 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also rose, by 20.3% to 3,141 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from the United States increased by 15.5% to 983 thousand, while visitors from Russia rose by 4.6% to 469 thousand.

Notes: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for October 2019 will be published on 23 December 2019.

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