The latest results of the Long-Haul Travel Sentiment survey – which is a joint initiative of the European Travel Commission (ETC), the European Tourism Association (ETOA) and Eurail Group G.I.E., in partnership with TCI Research – indicates a strong growth potential from long-haul markets for the European tourism sector in the coming summer holiday season (May to August 2015).
Despite continued reports of volatile economic conditions and political tensions, survey data collected in the five key markets of Brazil, China, Japan, Russian Federation and the United States of America highlight the enduring position of European destinations in respondents’ minds.
Key findings of the report reveal that four in five Brazilians, Chinese, Russians and US citizens who plan to travel long-haul this summer, intend to visit a destination in Europe.
Across all markets, travel experiences that are top-of-mind for Europe include enjoying nature and scenic landscapes, seeing famous landmarks, and learning about the history and cultural heritage of the destination visited.
As well. respondents in four out of the five markets surveyed are more optimistic about taking at least one trip outside their region of residence in the coming months (May to August) than they were at the beginning of 2015 (January to April). This correlates with general expectations for the upcoming peak travel season. Brazilian respondents are the only exception to this positive trend.
Looking at the US, the report found that two in five US respondents plan to travel outside North America this summer. Positive sentiment improved compared to the first months of 2015, dispelling concerns in the short-term over the potential impact of weakened GDP growth and softening consumer confidence on long-haul travel. As the euro and dollar head towards parity, Europe has become a cheaper place to travel in their eyes: four in five of those respondents intending to travel outside North America have a European country as their main destination.
In the United States, survey data indicates that especially people aged between 35 and 49 years are now more eager to travel internationally during the peak season (May to August) than in the first four months of 2015. However, European destinations occupy a more robust positioning in the youngest age group. Nine out of ten Americans aged 18-34 years who intent to travel internationally prefer to take a trip in Europe, as compared to four in five from the middle-aged segment.
The next release on the Long-Haul Travel Sentiment Survey will be available in October 2015 and aims to capture travel sentiment for key markets for the period September to December 2015.