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Intra-European Travel Interest Strong for 2021, Says ETC

Europeans are still interested in traveling and appear to be planning trips in 2021 despite the resurgence in Covid-19 but more are postponing trips this year, according to a European Travel Commission (ETC) study released recently.

More specifically, according to the second “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel: Wave 2” survey of nearly 6,000 respondents, a total of 53.6 percent said they will be taking a trip in the next six months, 38.8 percent are planning to travel domestically and 39.2 percent to other European locations. 

There is however an 18 percent drop in the number of respondents wishing to travel by the end of this year citing concerns about personal health and a 6 percent increase in uncertainty about exact timing and specific destination (8 percent) compared to the previous report.

Greece still in Top 5

In terms of destinations, Greece fell from fourth spot in the previous report to fifth in the Top 5 destinations of choice for intra-Europe travel.

In the lead again is Spain with 7.7 percent, followed by Italy (7.5 percent) which moved up, France (6.8 percent), and Germany (up by 11.6 percent). Greece dropped to fifth down by 11.2 percent.

The majority (65 percent) polled said the primary purpose for travel was leisure, followed by visiting friends and relatives (20 percent).

Top destinations of choice are city breaks (20.3 percent), nature and the outdoors (14.9 percent), culture and heritage (14.7 percent), with 39 percent wishing to go on skiing and snowboarding holidays.

Indicatively,  air travel is regarded by 20 percent of the respondents as the least safe part of a journey. 

At the same time, 11 percent said a key factor in their decision to travel is the availability of a flexible cancellation policy and 10 percent the possibility of an effective vaccine or treatment for Covid-19

“The latest numbers clearly show that Europeans’ desire for travel stays strong amid the reimposition of lockdowns and travel restrictions across Europe,” said ETC Executive Director Eduardo Santander.

“EU governments must take a step forward and find a compromise together with the health authorities on practical solutions on how to implement necessary protocols and safely restart travel operations,” he said.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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