The report shows that there is still a substantial potential for further expansion of the tourism business in the EU in coming decades. Both existing and new destinations can benefit from this opportunity, provided they do the necessary to ensure the right conditions with regard to the business environment, infrastructure and travel facilitation.
As other less mature regions in the world, in particular Asia and the Pacific, are growing at a faster pace both in inbound and outbound tourism, the share of EU-28 destinations in the world has gradually been decreasing since 1980.
By 2025, about one-third of international arrivals will be in one of the EU-28 destinations (33%), down from 40% in 2010 and 56% in 1980. To an extent this is a natural process with still lesser developed destinations catching up, and with emerging outbound markets driving growth in destinations within the same region (as the majority of travellers in for instance the rapidly growing Asian outbound markets is heading for intraregional destinations, Asia will grow faster than Europe, even if Europe would maintain its share in this market).
In order to stay competitive and tap into the potential demand, it is essential to continue creating and raising awareness and to make tourism a mainstream topic on the political agenda.
Most of the EU destinations have a strong tradition in tourism and a great professionalism and can count on a highly developed tourism sector underpinned by some very strong assets.