Tourist spending across Europe in freefall

The full impact of the shutdown across Europe is starting to be calculated with visitor spending across Europe down by 68 per cent in March compared to the same period last year.

The UBS report also showed Italy recording a 96 per cent drop in tourist spending in the same period.

Chinese spend in Europe dropped 84 per cent year on year, with all other nationalities also declining in March.

“The timing and pace of recovery remains uncertain; in our forecasting we assume that luxury stores remain closed throughout April and May, reopening in June,” the UBS note stated.

“As a result, luxury spend is likely to be heavily impacted for at least two months in Q2, with the impact from a tourist perspective expected to last for longer.”

The timeline for any recovery remains elusive, with the UN’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently revising its 2020 forecast for international arrivals and receipts.

“Against a backdrop of travel restrictions being introduced, UNWTO underscores the importance of international dialogue and cooperation and emphasises the COVID-19 challenge also represents an opportunity to show how solidarity can go beyond borders,” the UNWTO stated.