The majority of Greeks are included among Europeans that are the most likely to take a holiday in their own country this year due to financial reasons, according to the new Eurobarometer survey published on 13 February.
The Eurobarometer showed that only 11 percent of Europeans expect not to go away in 2014 because of the current economic situation. Four in 10 Europeans plan to spend their main holiday in their own country (majority of people in Greece, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria). Three in 10 people expect their main holiday to be in the EU, and over four in 10 intend to have at least one of their trips in the EU in 2014. A quarter plans traveling to a non-EU country (24 percent) but only 16 percent will have their main holiday outside the EU.
Tourism expected to grow again in 2014, led by strong domestic and European demand
The survey underlined that tourism has been one of the strongholds of European economy during the economic crisis, and the positive trend will continue in 2014.
The new Eurobarometer survey showed that the sector has been an engine of domestic demand-driven economic growth in 2013, with more people choosing to spend holidays outside of their own country but within the EU.
The top five EU holiday destinations remain unchanged since 2012: Spain (15%, +5), France (11%, +3), Italy (10%, +2), Germany (7%, +2) and Austria (6%, +2) continue to be the most popular holiday destinations, all of which have witnessed an increase since 2012.
Little impact of the current economic situation, but financial reasons matter
No substantial changes will be made to holiday plans as a result of the current economic situation. The survey also looked at what could influence holiday plans. Over four in 10 people said they would not change their 2014 holiday plans, while a third said they would change their plans but still travel. The proportion of people who intend to go on holiday without changing their plans for economic reasons ranges from 75 percent in Austria to 10 percent in Greece.
The positive trend is supported by the official statistics. According to Eurostat, the tourism sector had record figures in 2013. The total of nights spent in tourist accommodation establishments in all 28 EU Member States increased in 2013 by 1,6% to a record of 2.6 billion nights spent compared to 2012.