(+) Travel to Europe continued to exhibit strong growth through May as indicated by industry and arrivals data. Nearly all destinations report growth in arrivals for the first three to five months of the year.
(+) However, the heady growth numbers are due in part to a rebound effect resulting from comparison to data during the air space closures in April 2010. This effect will become less pronounced as the year carries forward.
(+) The most recent lodging and arrivals data are showing signs of moderating growth while data for European airlines shows a modest expansion in recent weeks. Available (and continually added) capacity should allow for competitive fares which could provide some added support to travel demand over the near term.
(+) Hotel occupancy slowed in Southern and Eastern Europe in May while the rest of Europe held relatively steady. Average Daily Rates continue to push up across Europe in response to demand and have displaced demand as the primary driver of hotel revenue growth.
(+) We expect the overall growth trend to slow in the remainder of 2011 as comparisons are made to stronger performance in 2010 and fight against the headwinds of an anaemic global economy.
(+) Only two years into the recovery and incoming data indicate that the global economy has weakened anew, raising doubts about whether the expansion in the advanced economies is sustainable.
(+) However, the softening of growth in Q2 likely reflected a number of temporary factors that are already fading. The recovery in the developed nations has now reached a stage where it is self- sustaining, particularly when set in the context of continued rapid growth in the Emerging Markets. Fears of a ‘lost decade’ resembling Japan in the 1990s are thus overplayed.