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European leisure travel rebounding in key markets

Vicky Karantzavelou - 14 October 2013, 08:41

The share of adults who took at least one vacation over the past twelve months jumped four percentage points in France (70%) and Germany (72%) over 2012. In the U.K., where leisure travel incidence is the highest of the three markets, the share increased three points to reach 78%.


As the European economy begins to show signs of life, a growing share of consumers in the region is feeling confident enough to indulge in a much-needed vacation. According to a new PhoCusWright European and Global Edition report, a leisure travel recovery is underway in France, Germany and the U.K. Leisure travel incidence in 2013 increased for all three markets, and improved economic conditions are sparking a boost in vacation spending.

The share of adults who took at least one vacation over the past twelve months jumped four percentage points in France (70%) and Germany (72%) over 2012. In the U.K., where leisure travel incidence is the highest of the three markets, the share increased three points to reach 78%.

In addition to a larger traveler pool, consumers in Germany spent an average of €206 more on vacations in 2013 versus 2012, and spending among U.K. travelers jumped €283. In France, however, where trip spend lags the other two markets, annual household leisure travel spend dropped slightly year-over-year.

"Millions of European consumers have returned to the traveler pool, and while Europe may not be out of the woods yet, consumers are beginning to feel that the worst is behind them," says Marcello Gasdia, analyst, consumer research at PhoCusWright. "Given the high priority Europeans generally place on travel, the travel industry is among the first to benefit from the boost in morale."

When choosing how to spend their discretionary income, consumers in all three markets report that they prioritize vacations over a wide array of recreational goods and services, including dining and nightlife, entertainment and sports, fashion, and electronics.

PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Report Fourth Edition explores consumer travel trends in France, Germany and the U.K., providing insight into traveler behavior and leisure travel intentions for the coming year. The study outlines year-over-year changes across a comprehensive range of travel metrics, including leisure travel incidence, trip frequency and duration, travel expenditure, international travel and travel product purchases. Analysis covers the use of online and offline channels during three stages of the travel planning process – destination selection, shopping and booking – and provides an in-depth look at travel-related engagement via the mobile web and social networks. ??

Key topics include:

  • General traveler behavior, including incidence of travel, travel expenditure, frequency and duration of trips, international travel and travel party composition
  • Consumption trends within major travel segments (lodging, air, rail), as well as car rental, packaged holidays, cruise and destination activities
  • Trip motivation and information sources used in destination selection
  • Online shopping trends, the reasons shoppers choose specific travel websites and the features travelers value during online shopping
  • Online/offline booking trends by market, as well as online booking trends across key travel products including lodging, air and rail
  • Key mobile trends, including mobile web penetration, current engagement and future interest in travel-related mobile web functionality
  • Participation in social networks, methods for sharing travel-related experiences and activities conducted through online social networks.

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