Interest in travel is on the rise as Europe begins to emerge from months of lockdowns and restrictions.
The European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 7” reports that two-thirds of Europeans intend to take a trip by the end of November 2021. Only 15% remain uncertain, and 15% are not willing to travel.
The speedy progression of COVID-19 vaccinations in Europe coupled with the recent introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the upcoming summer season are boosting Europeans’ travel spirit.
The ETC research reports that 70% of respondents are already making travel plans for the next six months, up from 56% in February 2021 and also at the highest point since August 2020.
Over half (57%) of Europeans feel much more optimistic about planning trips in the coming months thanks to vaccination rollouts, while 25% are neutral and 18% remain unconvinced.
Notably, in many cases, inoculation has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54% intending to book a trip once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The recent EU actions to coordinate rules and revitalize travel across the bloc are already showing positive results. The introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate has received a wide acceptance among Europeans: 57% of respondents feel that the certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip, while only 18% express the opposite opinion.
The research also found that 31% plan to travel during June and July and 41% during August and September, while the other 16% intend to take a trip in autumn. It also revealed a significant rise in the interest for outbound travel; half of the respondents wish to visit another European country (51%), while 36% favour domestic trips to enjoy their own countries’ attractions. Europeans travelling abroad this summer prefer Southern destinations, such as Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Portugal for their next trip.
As for planning, 42% of “early-bird” travellers have made some or all of their bookings for their next getaway, 40% have chosen a destination but not yet made any bookings, and 19% are still deciding where to go.
However, Europeans – while eager to travel – remain concerned about flights and quarantine measures.
While travel sentiment continues to improve, 19% of surveyed “early-bird” travellers express major concern about unexpected quarantine measures during their trips. This once again proves that clear and coherent travel rules are essential to boost travel confidence across Europe.
Air travel remains the most worrisome part of the journey for 18% of all respondents for health and safety reasons.
Although it is still the most preferred option among Europeans with short-term travel plans, the appeal of air travel (47%) has decreased by 11% since February 2021, whereas the preference for travelling by car (39%) has increased by 23% over the same period.
Go to www.etc-corporate.org for more.