Despite continuing lockdowns, Europeans are progressively interested in trips during the second quarter of 2021 as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, the European Travel Commission (ETC) said in its latest survey.
According to the ETC, the proportion of Europeans willing to travel during spring 2021 grew by 20 percent compared to the November 2020 survey, with 1 out of 3 respondents now stating this intention.
At the same time, the number of Europeans planning to travel in the next six months increased slightly from 49 percent to 52 percent.
According to the survey, the two figures point to a more positive outlook for spring-summer, while only 12 percent of respondents consider taking a trip in January – February 2021.
Titled “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 4”, ETC’s monthly report features data collected in December 2020.
Intra-European travel gaining ground
Moreover, the survey indicates that intra-European travel is now the top choice as more respondents are willing to take a trip to another European country (40 percent) than travel domestically (36 percent – a 7 percent decline compared to the November survey).
Greece is among the Top 10 preferred countries for the next intra-European travel, ranking fourth after Spain in the top spot, Italy in second and France in third position.
Leisure is the primary purpose for almost 63 percent of the surveyed Europeans planning to travel in the short-term, while visiting friends and relatives is the main motive for another 21 percent.
Business travel accounts for 9 percent of respondents.
Confidence growing for air travel
Confidence in air travel also seems to be steadily on the rise, as 52 percent of Europeans now state that they are willing to travel by air, compared to 49 percent in September. Simultaneously, a lower percentage of respondents (17 percent) consider that flying poses the greatest risk to their health, down from 20 percent in September 2020.
Strict health and safety protocols build trust
The report also shows that strict health and safety protocols build trust and peace of mind and make travel more enjoyable. As many as 67 percent of respondents said they feel “safe and relaxed enough” to enjoy their trip when strict protocols are in place.
Only 22 percent of Europeans state that such measures can to some degree spoil the travel experience, while another 11 percent say that it makes no difference to them.
In any event, quarantine measures, rising COVID-19 cases at the destination and falling ill while on holiday continue to be top concerns for 15 percent, 14 percent and 14 percent of Europeans with short-term travel plans respectively.