The European Travel Council (ETC) revealed that although the wave of the Omicron variable has slightly discouraged Europeans from traveling with an eight per cent drop reported, the majority of European citizens intend to go ahead with their travels.
According to the latter, three out of five Europeans plan to travel in the first half of the year, which represents a readiness to travel despite the ongoing Omicron variable. Furthermore, 72 percent of respondents claimed that they would continue their original travel plans, despite needed changes, TheSchengen.com reports.
However, more than half (61 per cent) of Europeans remain optimistic about travel between January and June 2022, demonstrating continued resilience despite the turmoil caused by Omicron. A press release from ETC explained that flights within Europe remain the preferred option for 50% of “early early” travelers.
Despite the flexibility noted on the confidence of EU citizens to travel, half of them prefer to travel to other EU countries, followed by 32 percent who choose domestic flights. Moreover, the excursions most preferred by respondents included sun and beaches (15%), city break (15%), followed by culture and heritage (13%).
According to the most preferred countries, France remains the top destination, with 7.1 percent of all 4,586 surveys planning to travel there, followed by Spain (seven percent) and Italy with 6.3 percentage points – a decrease of about 31 percent compared to the previous survey.
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Moreover, the same reveals the top five markets most likely to fly in the next six months, which includes Spain (60 per cent) – a 9 per cent drop from the previous survey, followed by France with 58.4 per cent of respondents They claimed to be planning during the first half of the year and Italy (57.3 per cent).
Other nationalities that can fly include Poles (47.6 per cent) and Britons (46.2 per cent) – with a drop of 21 per cent.
While these declines can be bad news for airlines, they are also great news for environmental groups, as plane and car travel are extremely polluting. It is estimated that about 10 percent of all direct emissions are from aircraft pollution.
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Instead, travel is encouraged in green, which means that EU citizens can use rail or buses to travel to their destinations. Data from ETC shows that awareness of this has been raised with 11.4% of respondents revealing that they plan to travel by train or bus in the next six months – a 2.5% increase compared to the September 2021 survey.
>> ETC: The sustainable behavior of travelers remains unaffected by COVID-19
On the other hand, business travel that has taken a heavy hit during the pandemic marks a slight recovery, with 15 percent of respondents revealing that they plan to take a business trip or participate in events or conferences in the next six months.