European’s appetite for travel continues despite cost-of-living crisis

Posted: 9 November 2022 | | No comments yet

In spite of the growing cost-of-living concerns, European traveller’s appetite for travel continues to rise with 70 per cent planning a trip in the next six months.

40 per cent of Europeans are worried about increasing travel costs in light of the ongoing cost-of-living concerns. Nonetheless, the appetite for travel among Europeans is growing with 70 per cent planning a trip in the next six months. This represents a four per cent increase in just one year. Over half (52 per cent) intend to travel at least twice evidencing pent-up demand for vacationing.

Sentiment for intra-European travel has also been on the rise with 62 per cent of respondents planning cross border trips within Europe this autumn and winter – the strongest sentiment for intra-European travel recorded since autumn 2020. This is according to the Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 13 by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which provides insights into Europeans’ short-term travel intentions and preferences.

Luís Araújo, President of ETC commented: “The tireless efforts of the European travel sector to build back stronger are beginning to bear fruit. While the cost-of-living crisis is another undeniable challenge for tourism in Europe, ETC is heartened to see that travel remains priority for Europeans in the coming months. Now it is of the utmost importance for Europe to ensure a more resilient industry, supporting the digital and environmental transition and putting people at the centre of development.”

Impact of COVID-19 and war in Ukraine on European travel sentiment lessens

The results of Wave 13 revealed a six per cent drop since May 2022 in the number of Europeans stating that the war in Ukraine impeded their original travel plans. Overall, 52 per cent of travellers said that the conflict will have no direct effect on their travel plans in the next months.

Similarly, fewer European travellers are less likely to be deterred from travelling by COVID-19. Only five per cent of respondents stated that pandemic-related concerns prevented them from realising a planned trip.

Travellers getting less bang for their buck 

In contrast, concerns related to the cost of travel are on the rise. The possible increase in travel fees now worries 23 per cent of European travellers. An additional 17 per cent are troubled by the effects of inflation on their personal finances.

Travel budgets have remained at the same levels since September 2021, with 32 per cent of respondents planning to spend between €501 to €1000 per person on their next trip (including accommodation and transportation costs). However, Europeans are cutting the duration of their vacations as their money does not stretch as far as it used to a year ago. Preferences for three-night breaks have increased to 23 per cent (from 18 per cent in September 2021), while longer trips of seven or more nights have dropped to 37 per cent (- nine per cent since September 2021), suggesting that travellers are getting less value for their money than they did in September 2021.

Regarding spending by country (per person on a single trip), Germans (57 per cent) and Austrians (66 per cent) will mostly spend between €501 and €1000, while the Polish (21 per cent), the Dutch (20 per cent), and the Swiss (19 per cent) are more likely to expend over €2000. 

Gen-Z less likely to travel than older generations

Intention to travel is lower among Gen Z (18 to 24 year-olds), with only 58 per cent responding positively in contrast to all other age groups, which exceed a 70 per cent likeliness to travel. This indicates a more hesitant outlook for younger passengers, which may also be attributed to concerns about personal finances and rising travel costs.

In contrast, Europeans over 45 years old plan to travel the most in the next six months (over 73 per cent), expressing an interest in city break journeys and a need to become part of the destination by exploring its culture and history.

Across all age groups, France is the most popular country to visit over the next six months (11 per cent), followed by Spain and Italy (both nine per cent). As the weather gets colder, more respondents look to travel to winter destinations such as Germany (seven per cent). Croatia (five per cent) and Greece (six per cent) also remain popular among respondents.

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