The European Travel Commission (ETC) has revealed that safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus remain the main excuse behind long-distance travelers’ reluctance to travel, even though travel forecasts show progress since the fall of 2020.
According to the latest Long-Distance Travel Barometer (LHTB) for the fourth quarter (September-December 2021), interest in travel among overseas travelers is low as COVID-19 infection rates remain worrisome. However, compared to 2020, this year, foreign long-distance travelers are more eager to visit European destinations, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Travel intent is measured by an indicator that reflects the prevailing sentiment expressed by the market, whether positive or negative. Values above 100 indicate a positive development, while values below 100 indicate negative attitudes towards travel in a given period,” the press release explains. issued by ETC regarding search results.
On the other hand, LHTB expects travelers from Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the United States to take short-term flights over the next four months.
However, ETC President Luis Araujo said that while the results show a slight recovery in long-distance travel, more work needs to be done to restart tourism in these markets, in order to get these travelers to visit Europe again.
“Travelers are still reluctant to consider Europe a destination at the moment. Looking ahead to 2022, it is imperative that we strive to implement more consistent travel rules in Europe and the world, and create greater visibility for long-distance travelers. As vaccination campaigns continue to progress, it is time to transform The focus is from a perilous country to a perilous traveler,” President Araujo said.
Moreover, Chinese travelers’ interest in long-distance travel increased from 69 to 92 in one year, starting in September 2020. Their main destinations remain Western and Central European countries, with a special interest in multi-country travel detected.
On the other hand, while interest in long-distance travel is positive (125), Europe is not the first destination for Americans, and they are pointing their fingers at last-minute travel changes. Moreover, the European Union’s recommendation to impose stricter travel restrictions on Americans, which European countries have widely adopted, also affected Americans’ desire to visit the continent.
However, US citizens who participated in the research indicated that countries that have managed the pandemic top their list as travel destinations. According to the participants, November and December are the likely months to implement their travel plans.
On the other hand, Russians are not interested in visiting Europe as Sputnik, the vaccine invented by Russia, has not found much support or recognition among EU countries. However, the interest in visiting other places among Russians is high (151 compared to 100 for visiting the European Union).
Compared to other markets analyzed, Russians shared that COVID-19 did not affect their decision (22 percent versus 42 percent in all markets) as much as travel-related costs (19 percent versus 11 percent in all markets) and availability of services and expertise ( nine percent versus five percent across all markets),” the press release notes.
However, Russian respondents confirmed that they are open to visiting Europe in the next two years (39 percent), while 38 percent remained reluctant.
Japan’s travel sentiment index is set at 62 for long trips, but the number rises to 94 for long trips on the European continent. Only 28 percent of Japanese respondents affirmed that affordable services play an important role in their travel choice. However, they said effective hygiene protocols and low infection rates of COVID-19 are vital factors determining their travel destinations.
Like the Japanese, Canadians also claim to be hesitant about long trips, with only 28 percent of them interested in visiting Europe during the last quarter of the year. Moreover, 46 per cent revealed that health and safety concerns prevent them from traveling, while 33 per cent said they had no plans to travel to the EU by the end of the year.
Unlike the Japanese, more than half of Canadians think not only of safety, but also of the popular spots available. Canadians also value the pricing of services and the extent to which natural and cultural heritage is preserved when choosing their vacation destination.
Previously, TheSchengen.com reported that the latest survey by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows tourism recovery is slowing due to uneven vaccination rates globally. Moreover, 62 million jobs related to the tourism sector were lost last year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.