As countries across the world remove travel limitations and relax their borders, the global tourism industry is on track to fully recover after two years of restrictions. With this in mind, the experts at money.co.uk were curious to find which European countries are returning to their pre-covid levels of tourism the quickest?
To do this, money.co.uk analysed each country’s tourism levels in 2019 before the pandemic, and compared this with 2021, to measure how well their tourism industry has recovered.
European countries where tourism is recovering the quickest
Placing sixth is Croatia. The country received approximately 10.6 million tourists in 2021, which is 60.9% of its 2019 total (17.4 million).
Albania leads the rankings with an almost 90% tourism recovery rate. This south-eastern European nation saw 5.3 million tourists in 2021 which is close to matching its 2019 levels (5.9 million). With a varied blend of mountainous and coastal regions, this country will hope to return to its pre-lockdown visitor peak soon.
Luxembourg sits in second place as it welcomed over 700,000 tourists in 2021, which equals 70% of its 2019 total. The small landlocked central European nation lost only half of its usual tourist volume when the lockdowns began in 2020.
Completing the top three is Iceland. The land of ice and fire saw 1.3 million visitors in 2021, which was exactly 65% of its total for 2019 (2 million). Regarded as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, this Nordic island nation will hope to continue to attract holidaymakers to its dramatic volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields.
European countries where tourism is struggling to recover post-pandemic
James Andrews, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, commented on the research:
“After around two years of lockdowns people are again looking abroad for their next holiday. While some consumer trends have changed forever, a lot of the usual things people look for in a potential destination remain the same. At the top of this list is affordability, no matter the location and type of holiday. There are a number of ways to keep costs down when taking a vacation, while still getting the break you need:”
- Shop around - Compare packages from various travel agents to just booking every step of the trip yourself, as sometimes that extra effort can equal more spending money in your pocket.
- Analyse traveller reviews - Advice from your fellow tourists who have done it before is invaluable. Most major attractions are rated on affordability as well as giving information on what you will experience, which should let you know if it will be worth it.
- Be wary of tourist traps - While some are inevitable when exploring a location's major landmarks and attractions, don't be afraid to venture outside of the hustle and bustle. Finding some local gems will usually result in better prices and a more authentic experience.
- Set yourself a daily budget - This can be difficult but planning and tracking your spending when on holiday allows you to stay in financial control. Give yourself a realistic daily allowance that will still leave you with money for emergencies, or even that new piece of clothing that caught your eye.