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Inflation Concerns Not Hampering Travel Desire in Europe

Europe appears to be the winner of pent up post-Covid-19 travel demand despite financial concerns with 71 percent of Europeans planning to take a trip this summer, according to the findings of the 21st Holiday Barometer released by Europ Assistance and conducted by market research firm Ipsos.

Carried out from April 26 to May 16 on 15,000 people in 15 countries, the survey found that though inflation and Covid concerns exist, demand for travel remains robust.

“This year’s travel intentions reflect a real excitement for travel, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, especially in Europe. Compared to 2021, we observed a significant return to international travel and higher average holiday budgets, supported by a significant decrease in Covid-19-related issues that favor airplane trips and an increased demand in hotel stays,” said Julia Ricks, head of International Travel at Europ Assistance Group.

“Early bookings and the importance of being covered with trip insurance appear to be among holidaymakers’ new habits that could become permanent,” added Ricks.

Key takeaways of the Europ Assistance survey:

– 72 percent of Europeans feel “really excited to travel” or “happy to travel” this year; while 71 percent of Europeans intend to travel during the summer up by 14 percentage points compared to 2021

– more Europeans expect to take trips than North Americans (60 percent in the US, 61 percent in Canada)

– holidaymakers are spending more money this summer reporting a higher travel budget this year than in 2021, with average levels up by 20 percent, which is still lower than pre-pandemic levels: Americans intend to spend an additional 440 dollars for a total budget of around 2,760 dollars – up by 19 percent over 2021. In Europe, the expected holiday budget is around 1,800 euros – up by 220 euros or 14 percent over 2021

– appeal of travel abroad is increasing with 48 percent of Europeans, 36 percent of Americans and 56 percent of Thais intending to travel abroad this summer

– domestic travel remains at higher level than 2019 in almost all the countries

– city breaks appear to be the most popular type of destination for North Americans

– hotels are still the preferred choice for accommodation (52 percent of holidaymakers in US, 46 percent in Europe) while vacation rentals remain attractive (30 percent in Europe, 20 percent in the US)

– air travel is back with Europeans planning to use their car less than last year (55 percent) and in favor of air travel (33 percent)

– planning vacation ahead is gaining ground: only 22 percent of Europeans have not decided on their destination yet 

– Covid-19 is no longer the first concern for European and North American travelers

– key traveler concerns include inflation and price increases for 69 percent of Europeans, 62 percent of Americans, 70 percent of Canadians, 63 percent of Australians, and 77 percent of Thais. 

– financial considerations are mentioned as one of the main reasons not to travel by 41 percent of Europeans who won’t be going on a trip this summer, 45 percent of Americans, and 34 percent of Thais 

– more travelers are considering travel insurance purchases. 

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