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Covid-19 Resurgence Forces Europeans to Put Travel Plans on Hold

Europeans are reluctant about traveling during the holiday period this year, which has been marred by health expert warnings, renewed lockdowns, and increasing Covid-19 cases and deaths, a European Travel Commission (ETC) study found this week.

According to the ETC’s latest report “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Trave – Wave 3”, less than one in five Europeans expressed intention to travel during the upcoming winter holiday season (by the end of January 2021), marking a 21 percent decline compared to the previous survey.

Following the latest developments on the coronavirus front, people appear to be more hesitant about travel as assessed by a rise in the number of respondents expressing uncertainty about the exact timing of their trip.

Compared to ETC’s previous report, the share of Europeans planning to travel in the next six months dropped from 54 percent in October’s survey to 49.9 percent in November, with uncertainty about the exact timing up by 13 percent in the last month.

At the same time, 18 percent of Europeans said they are not making any travel plans at all. 

The leading concern among those polled was the issue of quarantine measures (15 percent), followed by fear of becoming ill at the destination, and rising coronavirus cases (both at 13 percent). 

The report also found that European travelers are placing top priority on health and safety, which are now the key factors affecting decision to travel, particularly among those over 55 years of age.

Flying (19 percent) and use of public transportation (14 percent) at the destination are still seen as the least safe parts of a trip with 11 percent indicating bars and restaurants as a concern.

As reported previously, Europeans prefer to stay closer to home with the majority (63 percent) opting for leisure trips and city breaks (19 percent), visiting friends and relatives (22 percent) and for business (9 percent).

According to the ETC report, Greece is still among the Top 5 destinations of choice for Europeans seeking to travel in the next six months.

In first place Spain with 8.2 percent, followed by Italy (8.1 percent), France (7.1 percent), and Germany (6.3 percent). 

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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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