ETC reports strong off-peak numbers

NEW YORK--Off-peak travel to Europe is on the rise.

American travel to Europe surged 12.9% from October 1997 through April 1998 over the same period a year earlier, according to the European Travel Commission.

U.S. visits during that period totaled 5.08 million, the ETC reported.

March was particularly busy, with arrivals up by 18% over March 1997.

An ETC spokesman attributed the growth to a strong U.S. economy, lower transatlantic air fares and Europe's promotion of its off-season attractions.

Based on airline reports, the ETC forecasted that 1998 will be a sixth straight record year for travel to Europe.

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