Spring blossoms

Corniche, Luxembourg city © Tom Fielitz

LFT Travel Insights

06.03.2024Market research

Positive projections for European travel recovery in 2024

The latest insights from the first 2024 Quarterly Report are in, providing a comprehensive analysis of the current trends in travel demand and booking patterns. Despite recent challenges, the outlook for international travel to Europe remains promising, with forecasts indicating a full recovery by the end of the year.

Key highlights from the report include:

Hotel Occupancy Rates: Projections indicate a stabilising of forecast hotel occupancy rates in February, reaching 56% in February and a slight increase to 64% in March-April, with business and leisure tourism currently tending to develop at the same rate. Despite challenges such as rising operating costs and staff shortages, optimism prevails among industry professionals, with 65% of hotels expressing confidence in the upcoming season.

Nights in paid accommodation (provisional figures 2023 vs. 2019; source : Statec) 

- Hotels -3%
- Campsites –3%
- Youth hostels -2%
- Other paid -3%
- RevPAR in hotels 107€ (+1% vs. 2019)
- RevPAR in short-term rentals 81€ (+64% vs. 2019)

Demand Growth: Both hotel searches (+9%) and flight bookings (+19%) are experiencing significant growth compared to last year, with a particularly strong demand observed for the upcoming Easter period. Campsite bookings have also seen a notable increase of 19% compared to 2023, especially for stays in May-June.

Consumer Intent: A substantial 84% of Europeans are planning to travel abroad in 2024, with the highest travel intent recorded in the UK, Germany, and Austria. Additionally, a

growing number of travellers are willing to spend more for higher quality experiences, reflecting a trend towards affordable luxury and niche travel experiences. In Luxembourg, the highest growth intent will come from the DACH area and the Netherlands. Data is taken from LFT’s new Potential Study, carried out in 7 key European source markets.

Key Concerns: Main concerns for travellers in 2024 include economic stability, value for money, climate events, and safety. Sustainability is also emerging as a significant consideration, particularly among potential travellers to Luxembourg.

Visitor activity in Luxembourg (provisional figures 2023 vs. 2019 ; source : LFT)

- Tourist Infos +3%
- Castles +17%
- Leisure sites +19%
- Museums +6%

Trends and Preferences: Family holidays, skill acquisition, events, wine tourism, and wellness activities are among the top preferences for travellers higher in demand this year. There is also a notable increase in demand for longer stays and youth hostel accommodations among potential travellers to Luxembourg.

Forecast: According to projections from Tourism Economics/European Travel Commission, international arrivals to Europe are expected to increase by 1% in 2024 and 9% in 2025 compared to 2019 levels. Short-haul markets will remain pivotal in driving demand growth, with most long-haul source markets gradually recovering by 2024-2025.

In conclusion, while challenges persist, the travel industry is poised for a robust recovery in 2024, fuelled by increasing consumer confidence and evolving travel preferences.

Visitor activity in Europe (source : European Travel Commission/UN Tourism)

- International arrivals in 2023 : -9% vs. 2019.
- Despite the fact that prices of travel-related items rose 20-30% vs. 2019, high savings and spending sacrifices elsewhere boosted travel resilience.
- Key growth source markets for most European destinations: DE, NL, FR & US.
- UK and China underperforming because of affordability and – in the case of China – capacity and visa issues.

If you would like any further insights or to take part in our future surveys, please contact us.