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COVID-19 Restrictions Make Europeans Less Willing to Travel

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has published a new report on transcontinental travel, ‘Monitoring Sentiments for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 10’, which shows that at the beginning of 2021, travel restrictions in response to the outbreak of the Omicron variant had negatively affected the desire and Europeans in travel.

In a press release issued on February 10, ETC revealed that Europeans’ overall intention to travel is still stronger than it was a year ago (54 percent), however it is down 61 percent compared to summer 2021.

At the same time, the number of European travelers who believe that COVID-19 restrictions imposed in their destination country have a negative impact on their experience when traveling is also increasing.

Furthermore, eight per cent of European travelers reported that newly imposed restrictions to limit the spread of the omicron virus variant, including restrictions on vaccinated and recovered travelers, impeded their desire to travel.

Besides, fragmented policies in Europe have also undermined the role of the EU’s COVID digital certificate for national use, which is down by 11 percent from September 2021.

As a result, Europeans’ reluctance to travel increased from 11 percent in September to 21 percent in December last year.

The report also shows that about 36 percent of “firsts” travelers begin their vacation in May or June 2022, and only 17 percent of them have fully booked their next flight.

Based on this data, 50 percent of “early” travelers remain the preferred choice for travel within Europe, and 61 percent of travelers remain optimistic about travel between January and June 2022.

>> More EU countries agree travel restrictions do not prevent COVID-19

Travelers plan to spend more on their summer vacations © Mario Cupkovic |

Meanwhile, according to ETC, travelers aim to stay longer and spend more in the summer seasons.

“The preference for trips of more than ten nights increases by 38 percent compared to the previous survey, while the proportion of travelers who plan to spend more than 2,000 euros increases by 31 percent, specifically among those with travel plans in May or June 2022,” the statement reads. .

Meanwhile, for more than 63 percent of Europeans, leisure travel remains the primary choice for travel, while in terms of business travel, they are also showing signs of improvement since 2020.

Based on this latest data, 15 percent of participants are expected to travel for work or attend events and conferences in the coming months.

>> Figures show that tourists from Germany, the UK and the US were the biggest spenders in Greece in 2019

>>Belgians spend more on summer vacations than before COVID

Travelers often rely on vaccination when it comes to key drivers of travel © Claudio Caridi |

For travel across Europe, quarantine measures remain a major concern (18 percent), followed by an increase in COVID-19 cases at the destination (15 percent) and potential changes to travel restrictions (14 percent).

Recent research by ETC shows that to make their journey, Europeans rely on the following measures:

14 per cent of vaccination 11 per cent of the rules for flexible waiver 10 per cent of the effective management of COVID-19 in the destination country 9 per cent of the complete removal of restrictions

Europeans hope that they will be able to travel more freely at a later time, and for this reason, they delay the booking process.

Thus, four out of ten travelers have chosen their destination but still do not have a reservation, while only 19 percent have partially booked transportation or accommodation for their next flight.

>> The European Union makes certificates of COVID-19 vaccination valid for 9 months only from 1 February 2022

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