As many EU countries have decided to open up to tourists after months of closures and strict restrictions, the interest of travelers who want to enjoy a holiday abroad has increased dramatically.
According to the latest research on “Sentiment Monitoring for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 7” by the European Travel Commission (ETC), it has been revealed that two-thirds of European citizens intend to take a trip by the end of November 2021.
For others, 15 percent are still unsure of their travel plans, and 15 percent are not willing to travel this year, TheSchengen.com reports.
Vaccine deployment and EU COVID-19 passport implementation increases desire to travel
The rapid progress of Europe’s COVID-19 vaccination program, combined with the recent introduction of the EU’s digital COVID-19 passport and the summer season, is heightening the interest of European travelers to start making plans for this summer.
As the situation continues to improve, 70 per cent of respondents claimed that they are already making travel plans for the next six months.
This year’s numbers are up 14 percent compared to February 2021 statistics. This represents the highest percentage of passenger interest since August 2020.
More than half of Europeans, 57 percent to be precise, feel more hopeful about planning their trip in the coming months due to the rapid pace of vaccination launch. At the same time, 25 percent remain neutral on this issue, and 18 percent remain skeptical.
“In particular, in many cases, vaccination has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54 per cent intending to book a flight once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” the European Travel Commission statement read.
Likewise, recent actions by the European Union to coordinate actions among member states and revive the travel and tourism sector across the bloc have already shown positive results.
The creation of the EU digital COVID passport has been widely accepted by Europeans. Thus, based on the figures provided by ETC, it turns out that 57 percent of respondents believe that a passport will help them facilitate and plan their next trip. On the other hand, 18% of respondents have a different opinion.
More than half of EU member states have started issuing an EU passport for COVID vaccination in a bid to restore travel within the bloc. Countries connected to the EU portal that issue or verify at least one vaccination, refund or negative test certificate include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Iceland.
Most Europeans are excited to travel during June and July
The survey showed that Europeans are more enthusiastic about summer trips. Among respondents, 31 percent of Europeans planned to travel during June and July, and another 41 percent made travel plans for August and September. The number of those planning to travel in the fall is the lowest, strictly speaking, 16 percent.
In addition, the survey also revealed a significant increase in travelers’ interest in traveling abroad. About half of the respondents (51 percent) would like to visit another European country during this summer, while 36 percent prefer domestic trips to enjoy the attractions of their own countries.
Europeans who have already decided to go abroad this summer prefer destinations such as Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal for their next trip.
Referring to the state of trip planning, 42 percent of travelers “early” made some or all of their reservations for their next trip. Another 40 percent have already chosen a destination where they would like to spend their vacation but have not yet made a reservation, while 19 percent have not yet decided where to go.
France has already started allowing vaccinated travelers to enter the country for travel purposes without undergoing quarantine requirements. The country allows entry to 26 member states of the European Union and several other third countries, as well as for travelers from the United States and Canada.
Similarly, Italy has also opened its borders to European travelers.
Despite worries about flight rules and quarantine, Europeans can’t wait to travel
While the desire to travel continues to grow, 19 per cent of ‘early bird’ travelers surveyed expressed primary concern about unexpected quarantine measures and other restrictions during their travels. Thus, this confirms that coherent travel rules are essential in order to enhance travel confidence across Europe.
Air travel remains one of the most troubling parts of the journey for health and safety reasons, according to 18 percent of respondents. However, this type of travel is still the preferred choice for European travelers who have made short-term travel plans.
The attractiveness of air travel has decreased from 47 percent to 36 percent since February 2021. In contrast, the preference for traveling by car has increased from 39 percent to 62 percent over the same period.
Previously, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed a 67.2 percent drop in passenger demand during March 2021 compared to pre-pandemic figures in March 2019.