BRUSSELS - The hope of summer getaways is encouraging travel sentiment in Europeans, as a majority (56%) say they will go on holiday by the end of August 2021, either domestically or to another European country. By comparison, only 27% of respondents are still unwilling to travel within the next six months. That is according to the latest report "Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 6"1 published by the European Travel Commission (ETC).
This monthly report provides up-to-date insights on the impact of COVID-19 on Europeans'2 travel plans and preferences regarding types of destinations and experiences, holiday periods and anxieties related to travel in the coming months.
Vaccine rollout boosts confidence about summer getaways
Despite a sluggish start to the vaccine rollout across Europe, travellers’ confidence continues to take an upturn, raising hopes for a faster recovery. The survey shows that 48% of respondents share a sense of optimism about trip planning, driven by the development and approval of COVID-19 vaccines. Only 21% are not optimistic about planning a trip, regardless of vaccinations.
Among European early-bird travellers3, 9 out of 10 already have specific timings for their vacations, eyeing mostly July and August (46%). Another 29% state that they intend to take their next trip even sooner, in May or June. Of them, 49% are willing to travel to another European country, while 36% opt for staycations.
Concerns rise about being able to make the most out of holidays
As Europeans are starting to consider a summer getaway, the spotlight falls on whether upcoming holidays can be enjoyed to the fullest. While quarantine measures are still the leading concern for 16% of early-bird travellers, the limited scope for holiday activities at the destination due to COVID-19 restrictions is becoming a significant pain point (11%).
In addition, there is now a heightened sense of caution about visiting bars and restaurants to experience the culinary offering at a destination. 13% of respondents feel that these places pose a degree of risk to their health. Meanwhile, air travel still tops the virus risk list, with 17% of Europeans identifying flying as potentially dangerous.
Poles and Italians are the most positive about summer travel
Although summer holidays are on the wish list for the majority of surveyed Europeans, countries vary in their degree of enthusiasm. Poles (79%) and Italians (64%) champion the trend to plan a getaway before the end of August, followed by Austrian (57%), German and Dutch (both 56%) residents. Among the top 5, Italians lean towards domestic trips (53%), while more than 2 in 5 respondents from the other origin markets have a clear preference for travel abroad.
1 The wave features data collected in February 2021.
2 Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Austria
3 “Early-bird” travellers refers to survey respondents that are planning to travel in the next 6 months