The recent introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the speedy progression of Covid-19 vaccinations in Europe are boosting Europeans’ travel spirit, says the European Travel Commission (ETC).
In its latest research on “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 7”, the ETC reveals that 70 percent of Europeans are already making travel plans for the next six months, up from 56 percent in February 2021 and also at the highest point since August 2020.
According to the research, recent EU actions to coordinate rules and revitalise travel across the bloc are already showing positive results for travel.
“The introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate has received a wide acceptance among Europeans: 57 percent of respondents feel that the certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip, while only 18 percent express the opposite opinion,” the ETC said.
Moreover, over half (57 percent) of Europeans feel much more optimistic about planning trips in the coming months thanks to vaccination rollouts, while 25 percent are neutral and 18 percent remain unconvinced. Notably, in many cases, inoculation has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54 percent intending to book a trip once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Travel within Europe at the forefront
The survey shows that Europeans eager to travel soon are most enthused about summer journeys: 31 percent plan to travel during June and July and 41 percent during August and September, while the other 16 percent intend to take a trip in autumn.
It also shows a significant rise in the interest for outbound travel; half of the respondents wish to visit another European country (51 percent), while 36 percent favour domestic trips to enjoy their own countries’ attractions.
“Europeans travelling abroad this summer prefer Southern destinations, such as Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Portugal for their next trip,” the ETC said.
As for the planning status of these trips, 42 percent of “early-bird” travellers have made some or all of their bookings for their next getaway, 40 percent have chosen a destination but not yet made any bookings, and 19 percent are still deciding where to go.
Quarantine measures still a concern
However, the report shows that while travel sentiment continues to improve, 19 percent of surveyed “early-bird” travellers express major concern about unexpected quarantine measures during their trips.
“This once again proves that clear and coherent travel rules are essential to boost travel confidence across Europe,” the ETC said.
The survey also shows that air travel remains the most worrisome part of the journey for 18 percent of all respondents for health and safety reasons. Although it is still the most preferred option among Europeans with short-term travel plans, the appeal of air travel (47 percent) has decreased by 11 percent since February 2021, whereas the preference for travelling by car (39 percent) has increased by 23 percent over the same period.
The ETC’s full summary report on “Wave 7” is expected to be published at the beginning of July.