Research shows that more than half of Europeans plan to travel abroad in the next four months despite the risks of the ongoing pandemic.
According to the latest research by the European Travel Commission (ETC), about 70 percent of Europeans plan to travel until January 2022, half of them would prefer to visit another European country, while 35 percent plan to travel within the country, Schengen Visa Info. .com reports.
Moreover, ETC reveals that the number of Europeans who are not budge on their travel plans is increasing; However, concerns about COVID-19 cases in destination countries have risen by 20 percent.
On the other hand, 17 percent of study respondents claimed to be reluctant to travel, and 15 percent remained unsure about short-term travel at the moment.
It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccine is essential for traveler confidence and booking trends. Vaccinations across countries enabled 54 percent of Europeans to feel more optimistic about trip planning over the coming months, with only 21 percent skeptical about travel.
The study revealed that one in two Europeans plans to book a flight once they’ve been vaccinated. Furthermore, about 57 percent of respondents expect an EU digital COVID certificate to facilitate their travel experience while crossing borders, while 18 percent claimed they were skeptical about the document and its functionality.
On the other hand, it turns out that the holidays Europeans choose are foreign holidays, with 20 percent of them planning to travel in October and November on the coast or other natural places. Furthermore, 72 percent of travelers claimed they were booking flights earlier in the season.
The survey also reveals that Europeans are more interested in traveling within the European Union, the highest level since last summer. Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Croatia remain top destinations for Europeans, with 53 percent saying they plan to travel there all summer. On the other hand, 35 percent would like to travel domestically.
It is important to note that senior travelers are more likely to travel within their own country, with 44 percent claiming to do so, while only 27 percent of the 18-24 age group prefer local tourism sites.
The number of travelers booking their flights increased by 31 percent compared to the previous survey, which means that consumer confidence is on the rise and tourism is gradually returning in Europe. In addition, the number of consumers uncertain about where to travel fell by 20 percent. The number of respondents who were reluctant to plan trips also fell by 20 percent, reaching the lowest point, which was 16 percent in September 2020.
According to the participants, the reasons for the recovery of the tourism industry are large-scale vaccination campaigns, flexible cancellation policies and the easing of travel restrictions.
However, about 18 per cent of Europeans remain concerned about quarantine measures and 16 per cent for the rise in COVID-19 cases within the destination. Furthermore, 15 per cent claim to be concerned about changes to travel restrictions during their trip. The top three areas of concern about transmission of the virus are air travel according to 17 percent of respondents, destination transportation for 15 percent of them and cafes and restaurants (13 percent).
Greece has been declared the “Tourism Champion” for this year, receiving the largest number of tourists for the year, more than six million of them. The country is also expected to generate more than 12 billion euros in revenue through the end of the year, a target that was made possible by the government’s lax travel rules and vaccination launches.