The European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest report reveals that Europeans are more keen to travel than ever, despite rising Covid-19 cases and the looming Delta variant.
Almost 70% of Europeans have plans to travel between July 2021 and January 2022, while significantly fewer expressed unwillingness (17%) or uncertainty (15%). The report, Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 8, was co-funded by the EU to provide insights on Europeans’ travel intentions. The vaccine rollout, flexible cancellation policies and fully lifted travel restrictions are reported to be the top factors boosting respondents’ confidence in their next trip within Europe.
The report mostly observed clear signs of traveler confidence returning in Europe. The number of travelers who have booked an entire trip has increased by 31% since the previous survey. Uncertainty around choosing travel destinations also dropped by 20%. Further, the number of respondents who avoided traveling also dropped by 20%, to the lowest point (16%) since September 2020.
However, some concerns still hamper travel plans, despite higher travel intentions. Europeans with short-term travel plans remain anxious about quarantine measures (18%), rising Covid-19 cases within their destination (16%) and changes in travel restrictions during their trip (15%). When it comes to personal health and safety, the top three areas of apprehension are air travel (17%), in-destination transportation (15%) and restaurants (13%).
The report confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine remains an essential prerequisite for traveler confidence and booking behavior. Recent vaccination rollouts allowed more than half (54%) of Europeans to feel much more optimistic regarding trip planning within the next months, with one in two Europeans planning to book a trip as soon as they are vaccinated. Furthermore, more than half (57%) of the respondents expect the EU’s digital Covid certificate to facilitate planning their next trip and crossing borders, while only 18% doubt that it will ease their travel experience.
The survey shows that interest in intra-European travel has also grown to its highest level since last summer. Over half (53%) of Europeans with short-term travel plans prefer to visit another European country, with Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Croatia at the top of their destination wish list. Outdoor holidays are currently the top choice for intra-European travel. Over 20% of surveyed Europeans plan to embark on trips in October or November and spend time by the coast or in nature. However, the number of Europeans that favored domestic trips remained solid at 35%. Interestingly, travelers over 54-years-old are more likely to travel within their own country (44%) than those in the 18-24 age range (27%).
The full summary report can be downloaded here