European travellers’ sentiment towards both domestic and inter-regional travel is improving, according to a European Travel Commission survey conducted at the end of 2020 with European citizens from 10 high-volume source markets.
52% of respondents indicated they intended to travel in the next six months, a 5% increase compared to the previous period. While travel intentions towards the end of February dropped by 21%, a significant 20% increase was expressed for trips in the April-June period, with respondents from Poland, Italy, France, Austria and Spain most likely to travel. 40% of respondents plan to visit another European country, while 36% favour domestic travel.
Leisure remains the primary travel purpose for 63% of respondents, followed by visiting friends and relatives at 21%. City travel is by far the most popular at 34.7%, while business travel remains least favoured at 2.4%Accommodation preferences remain largely unchanged compared to previous periods, with branded hotels coming top with 31% of respondents, followed by independent hotels and resorts at 24%. Staying with friends and/or family and short-term rentals came next with 14% each, followed by other paid serviced accommodation (e.g. bed and breakfast), camping/caravan, and hostel/motel all scoring less than 10%.
Travel sentiment remains closely linked to COVID-19 news. The main decision-making factors are availability of a vaccine and flexible cancellation policies, while strict health and safety protocols are not perceived as detrimental to the travel experience for two thirds of respondents.