Despite continuous blockades and advice to avoid non-essential travel, Europeans’ travel intentions are increasing. This is stated in a report by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which shows that 54% of those surveyed plan to travel within the next six months, either nationally or to another European country. Furthermore, leisure continues to be the main travel motivation for 64% of those surveyed.
The data in this report, which highlights the contained desire to travel of European citizens, places Spain as the preferred destination for travelers from European Union countries. Europeans are already thinking about summer holidays and our country is the priority for 10.2% of those surveyed during the month of January. It is followed by Italy (7.8%), France (6.5%), Greece (6.1%) and Germany (5.2%).
Demand in sun and beach destinations
Europeans’ interest in sun and beach holidays is expanding as the warmer months slowly approach. According to the results of the survey, more than a third of Europeans (34%) are optimistic about undertaking their next trip between May and July 2021. These would be the ideal dates to make the trips, looking to enjoy some vacation by the sea. This is reflected in the intention of travelers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, who seek sun and beach destinations.
Europeans are also now more eager to cross the borders of their countries. 41% of respondents want to travel to another European country, the highest figure since the survey began. Poland (80.2%), Italy (60.7%), Austria (55.4%), Belgium (55.3%) and Spain (51.8%) are the countries with the highest intention to travel in the next 6 months, before the end of July. For their part, 35% still show their intention to travel nationally.
Similarly, confidence in air travel increases. The proportion of Europeans planning to take a plane has progressively increased from 49% in September 2020 to 54% in January 2021.
Travelers put health and safety first
Most respondents (69%) shared that they will feel safer and more relaxed if destinations have strict health and safety protocols, while only 21% say the protocols can, to some extent, spoil the travel experience .
At the same time, COVID-19 vaccines remain the main driver for resuming travel, raising hope that a mass vaccination campaign in Europe will contribute to the recovery in tourism. For 11% of Europeans, this acceleration in the vaccination process would play an important role in their decision to travel again, followed by the effectiveness of destinations in managing the health crisis (11%) and tests to detect the COVID-19 before departure (10%).