Greece continues to be among the most popular destinations for travelers from Europe this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and cost concerns, found the latest data released by the European Travel Commission (ETC).
According to the “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 16” study, financial pressures are influencing European holidaymakers but intention to travel is still at 69 percent. The study’s results are based on data collected in May 2023 from Europeans in 10 high-volume source markets (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Austria).
The study shows that although Mediterranean destinations have seen a 10 percent drop in visitors intending on traveling compared to 2022, Spain continues to be the top choice for holidays this year (8 percent), followed by France (7 percent), Italy (7 percent), Greece (5 percent) and Croatia (5 percent).
Who’s going to Greece?
According to the data, Greece is in the top 5 preferred destinations in Europe for vacationers from Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Italy.
More specifically, according to the ETC’s study, Greece is ranked fourth with 5 percent after France, Spain and Italy for the Belgians; fourth with 7 percent after Spain, France and Italy for the British; fifth with 5 percent after France, Spain, Italy and Germany for the Dutch; third with 9 percent after Italy and Spain for the French; and third with 7 percent after Spain and France for the Italians planning trips in Europe this year.
Greece is also a top choice for long-haul travelers taking trips in May-August this year, found the ETC’s latest travel barometer 2/2023.
Travel in Europe is the first choice for Europeans
The “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 16” study found that Europe is still the first choice of European respondents, with 59 percent planning to go on a holiday there, while 12 percent aim to take a trip outside of Europe (up by 3 percent over 2022). Interest in domestic travel, according to the ETC, has dropped by 6 percent, with just 26 percent of travelers opting for a “staycation” in the next months.
At the same time, traveler interest appears to be increasing for the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Denmark, which ETC analysts attribute to vacationers seeking less crowded destinations and milder temperatures.
According to the ETC report, rising prices are forcing Europeans to adjust their travel plans. Indicatively, travel intent across Europe has dropped by 4 percent compared to 2022.
Other key takeaways include:
– tourists choosing to travel in the low season months of October and November are up by 5 percent over 2022
– event and business travel have increased by 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively
– most hesitant about travel this year are those from Austria, Switzerland and Germany, with 45 percent, 56 percent, and 62 percent of respondents, respectively, having travel plans in the next months
– most eager to travel are those from France (80 percent), Belgium (79 percent) and the UK (75 percent)
– 24 percent of European travelers are worried about the overall rise of trip costs (up by 6 percent vs 2022), while 17 percent are concerned with the economic situation and their finances
– 17 percent of those polled said they will travel off-season to get better prices
-14 percent plan to take vacations in destinations they perceive as more affordable
– European holidaymakers are seeking cheaper airfares, with 13 percent aiming to book flights earlier than usual to get the best deal and 12 percent planning to fly low-cost airlines
– 17 percent said they will cut shopping expenses, 15 percent will search out cheaper restaurants, and 15 percent will choose less expensive accommodation establishments.
“Our latest data shows that concerns over inflation and personal finances persist among European travelers. Nevertheless, Europeans are still eager to travel in the upcoming months. Many are hunting for alternative travel choices, looking for more affordable experiences or considering off-season travel to stretch their budgets,” said ETC President Miguel Sanz.
Sanz advised destinations and businesses “to capitalize on these trends and assist travelers in going off the beaten track and traveling in the less busy months”.