Europe is back as consumer-led growth continues to drive travel recovery into 2022, with consumers keen to spend the savings accumulated throughout the pandemic.
That’s the message found in the most recent edition of the ‘European Tourism Trends & Prospects’ quarterly report as the ETC continues to monitor the COVID-19 impact on the sector, examining how travel activity is rebounding as the world learns to live with COVID-19.
Canada has now significantly relaxed its entry requirements and the EU recommends to European nations that vaccinated travellers should be allowed to visit.
Driven by strong domestic and intra-European travel, the overall travel demand is projected to be 30% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Whereas domestic travel is expected to recover entirely in 2022, international travel will be slower on the uptake and is not likely to surpass 2019 levels until 2025.
Annual average growth from Canada to Europe is expected to be 36% in the five-year period 2020-2025, with the fastest increase in Southern Europe (42.8%).
With more and more travellers returning to Europe, the ETC is reminding travel advisors of the available resources to support them.
To check for entry requirements for each country, find the latest information at www.reopen.europa.eu and contact the National Tourist Board of the respective country.
For destination inspiration, visit www.visiteurope.com.
Pascal Prinz, Chair of ETC’s Chapter in Canada, said: “With the ease of restrictions across many European destinations, we are excited to welcome back avid Canadian travellers.”
Prinz continued: “Air bookings to Europe are strong. All major carriers are ramping up their transatlantic flight schedule, offering Canadians great deals and direct flights to experience Europe.”
According to the latest ETC Long-Haul Travel Barometer, good flight connections between Canada and Europe are a key driver of positive sentiment about European travel, with younger generations most likely to travel long-haul during 2022 – 57% of 18-34 year-olds, 46% of 35-49 year-olds, and 32% of the 50+ age group.
Canadians desire multi-national itineraries that visit several European destinations. The variety of cycling routes in the region as well as rail and road trips also help drive sentiment for visiting Europe.
More than half (54%) of Canadian respondents shared an interest in visiting European metropolitan areas, with France, Italy, the UK, Germany, and Switzerland on top of their destination wish list.
Meanwhile, coastal, and mountainous regions appear to be in equal demand among Canadians (both 27%).
COVID-19 concerns (48%) are the main deterrent to international travel for Canadians, with travel costs (12%) and restrictions at destinations (8%) also slightly above the combined average of long-haul markets.
Knowing that the country effectively handles the pandemic (30%), flexible cancellation policies (28%), fully lifted travel restrictions (27%), getting vaccinated for Covid-19 (25%) and appropriate health protocols that secure the safety of locals and travellers (23%) are the factors classified as most important for boosting Canadian travellers’ confidence.