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The U.S. market for travel to Europe

U.S. visits to Europe declined 13.4 percent in February

The downturn in overall trans-Atlantic traffic slowed sharply in April, raising hopes for
the summer. The leading carriers reported an average decline of only 1.8 percent for April (compared to -10.6 percent for March). Capacity was reduced by an average of 3.2 percent. And the average load factor was an encouraging 80.5, up from 77.5 in April 2008…

The downturn in overall trans-Atlantic traffic slowed sharply in April, raising hopes for
the summer. The leading carriers reported an average decline of only 1.8 percent for April (compared to -10.6 percent for March). Capacity was reduced by an average of 3.2 percent. And the average load factor was an encouraging 80.5, up from 77.5 in April 2008.

U.S. visits to Europe declined 13.4 percent in February, according to the latest
numbers from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. On a per-day basis (February ’08 had an extra day) the decline was 10.3 percent. Meanwhile, the final total for all of 2008-12,505,627 U.S. visits- was down 6.2 percent from the 2007 record, according to the Dept. of Commerce.

That final 2008 U.S. traffic number was stronger than projected last December, but Europe’s market share of U.S. travelers fell to only 40.6 percent, a loss of 2.1 points and a new post-World War II low. See No. 17 and the Share of U.S. Market graph.
At first, swine flu threatened to undermine any positive trend. But with just a few
deaths beyond Mexico in the four weeks since the story broke (including a school principal and an infant in New York), fears have ebbed.

Neither U.S. nor European authorities placed any bans on travel, even to and from Mexico. The recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that Americans “avoid all non-essential travel to Mexico,” was rescinded Friday in part because “the risk of serious disease… appears to be less than originally thought.”

Whatever its virulence, H1N1 continued to spread in fits and starts, and the World Health Organization maintained its pandemic warning at the second-to-highest level, warning that it could still develop into a serious threat to the world population.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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