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Developments in the balance of travel services: March 2017

23/05/2017 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in March 2017 showed a surplus of €77 million, compared with a surplus of €31 million in March 2016. More specifically, travel receipts decreased by 7.8% to €203 million in March 2017, from €221 million in the same month of 2016. Travel payments also fell, by 33.0% (March 2017: €127 million, March 2016: €189 million). The drop in travel receipts was mostly due to an 8.1% decline in average expenditure per trip, as inbound traveller flows fell only slightly, by 0.2%. Net receipts from travel services offset 3.9% of the goods deficit and accounted for 18.9% of total net receipts from services.

In January-March 2017, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €140 million, up 83.5% from a surplus of €76 million in the same period of 2016. This development was driven by a fall of €90 million or 19.4% in travel payments, as travel receipts dropped by €26 million or 4.8%. The decline in travel receipts is attributed to decreases of 1.8% in inbound traveller flows and of 3.2% in average expenditure per trip. Net receipts from travel services offset 2.8% of the goods deficit and accounted for 13.2% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In March 2017, as mentioned previously, travel receipts declined by 7.8% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 decreased by 9.1% to €100 million and those from outside the EU28 dropped by 7.4% (March 2017: €94 million, March 2016: €101 million). The fall in receipts from within the EU28 was due to a 30.0% drop in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries (March 2017: €38 million, March 2016: €55 million), as receipts from euro area residents rose by 11.7%. Breaking down receipts by visitor’s country of origin, receipts from Germany fell by 6.8% to €18 million and those from France by 11.0% to €5 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 62.3% to €9 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia dropped by 10.9% to €6 million and those from the United States by 10.7% to €25 million.

In January-March 2017, travel receipts decreased by 4.8%, relative to the same period of 2016, to €513 million. This development is attributed to lower receipts from both outside the EU28 (down 7.0% to €232 million) and within the EU28 (down 3.0% to €268 million). In particular, receipts from euro area residents increased by 8.0% to €173 million and those from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries fell by 18.2% to €94 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany rose by 5.8% to €55 million, while receipts from France dropped by 10.4% to €14 million. Receipts from the United Kingdom decreased by 32.7% to €34 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia increased by 29.1% to €17 million and those from the United States by 5.6% to €53 million.

Inbound traveller flows (1)

The number of inbound visitors in March 2017 dropped slightly, by 0.2%, year-on-year to 628 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 5.9%, while those through road border-crossing points declined by 7.0%. This development is attributed to lower visitor flows from outside the EU28 (down 7.1%), as those from within the EU28 increased by 4.9%. In greater detail, visitors from the euro area rose by 20.5% to 167 thousand and those from the non-euro area EU28 countries declined by 4.8% (March 2017: 214 thousand, March 2016: 224 thousand). Specifically, visitors from Germany increased by 18.2% to 57 thousand, while those from France fell by 31.4% to 12 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 56.0% to 21 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from Russia dropped by 23.6% to 8 thousand, while visitors from the United States rose by 21.1% to 40 thousand.

In January-March 2017, the number of inbound visitors decreased by 1.8% to 1,592 thousand, from 1,621 thousand in the same period of 2016. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 11.7%, while those through road border-crossing points declined by 15.9%. In the period under review, visitors from within the EU28 increased by 3.3% year-on-year to 956 thousand, whereas those from outside the EU28 fell by 8.4% to 637 thousand. Visitors from the euro area rose by 23.2% and those from the non-euro area EU28 countries dropped by 9.9%. Specifically, visitors from Germany increased by 31.6% to 155 thousand, while those from France fell by 29.3% to 29 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom decreased by 14.9% to 91 thousand. Finally, turning to non-EU28 countries, visitors from Russia increased by 23.6% to 25 thousand and those from the United States by 32.4% to 81 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for April 2017 will be published on 21 June 2017.

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

Related link: Developments in the balance of travel services: March 2017 - Table

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