Travel confidence: 2 in 3 Europeans plan to travel in the next six months
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Travel confidence: 2 in 3 Europeans plan to travel in the next six months

Credit: Belga

Demand for travel is strong across Europe despite the end of the peak summer season, with 2 in 3 Europeans planning to travel in the next six months.

Domestic travel is the most popular, with 55 percent of short-term travellers preferring to visit another European country, and air travel is on the rise with half of surveyed travelers saying they feel comfortable taking a plane again.

The data comes from the European Travel Commission (ETC)’s special report, which provides insights on Europeans’ short-term travel intentions and preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although the peak summer season has been left behind, the desire for travel remains strong across Europe,” they said in a press release.

“For the first time since October 2020, Europeans’ travel plans are spread evenly over the next six months,” they added, which indicates that “an increasing number of Europeans are no longer in a ‘waiting mode’ to travel and feel much more confident to embark on spontaneous trips.”

The figures are positive news for the tourism sector, which suffered tremendously during the Covid-19 pandemic and related travel bans and lockdown measures.

“As travel sentiment continues to improve and pandemic restrictions become the new normal, ‘travel-ready’ Europeans are more determined to adhere to their travel plans (up 39 percent over the previous survey), rather than wait or postpone,” the ETC said.

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Top destinations include the Mediterranean, followed by Spain and Italy (both 9 percent), France (8 percent) and Greece (7 percent) as the top preferences.

Still, a sign of lingering insecurity when it comes to pandemic travel can be seen in the fact that just 29 percent of Europeans who have travel plans for October or November have actually fully booked their trip.

That number drops to 15 percent when it comes to those travelling in December.

And despite their increased eagerness to travel in the next six months, 63 percent of ‘early bird’ travellers still rely on health and safety protocols at the destination as it makes them feel more comfortable and likely to enjoy their trip, the ETC said.

“Destinations and tourism businesses should reassure travellers through effective COVID-19 measures, particularly in relation to the areas of most concern: air travel, in-destination transportation, and local attractions,” they advise.

The European Travel Commission is an association of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), created in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourist destination to the long-haul markets outside of Europe.

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