Positive Sentiment

In its recently released “European Tourism: Trends & Prospects” report for the fourth quarter of 2022 and its latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB), the European Travel Commission (ETC) makes it clear that Canadian travel sentiment for Europe in 2023 is positive.

The new data indicates that the Canadian market will continue on track for a gradual recovery. The share of Canadians planning to visit Europe between January and April increased from 15% in 2022 to 29% in 2023, with the sentiment index value remaining in positive territory (108 points).

Yet, the majority (62%) of Canadian respondents will refrain from overseas trips at the beginning of 2023. The main deterrent for 39% of them is their disposable budget.

Canadians wishing to visit Europe in the next months will look for experiences revolving around history and culture, and the vibrant life of European cities. The top European destinations for Canadians are France, Italy, the UK, and Germany.

Sandra Moffatt, Chair of ETC’s Canada Chapter, pointed out that: “2022 was a positive year for many European destinations, and we welcome the continuation of this strong rate of recovery from Canada. Despite ongoing economic headwinds, sentiment remains very positive with 70% of Canadians intending to take a long-haul trip this year, and we look forward to welcoming visitors looking to explore Europe in 2023.”

More broadly, the ETC report noted that transatlantic travel is expected to continue making significant contributions to European destinations.

The US leads the recovery of long-haul travel to Europe, thanks to short-lived and fewer travel restrictions, and the strength of the dollar against the Euro. Based on year-to-date data, almost one in four of reporting destinations saw US arrivals exceed 2019 levels. Arrivals from this market to Europe are 25% below 2019 levels in 2022 and are expected to recover 82% of 2019 volumes in 2023.

Canada is performing similarly to the USA with arrivals to Europe looking to be 28% below 2019 levels in 2023. Türkiye was the only reporting destination country registering an increase in arrivals from Canada in 2022 (up 42% on 2019 levels). This is likely to have been driven by the depreciation of the Turkish lira. On the other hand, Serbia leads in the recovery of overnights (up 33%) from Canadians in Europe.