More Europeans Plan to Travel This Summer

More Europeans Plan to Travel This Summer

According to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest report, “Monitoring Sentiment for Intra-European Travel – Wave 19,” 75% of Europeans plan to travel between June and November 2024, marking a 6% increase from last year. Spanish, Italian, and British travelers show the highest enthusiasm, with eight out of ten respondents from these countries planning trips.

Despite the increased interest in travel, the number of trips per traveler is expected to be fewer. The report reveals that 36% of Europeans plan to take just one trip, a 6% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, 33% plan for a second trip, and only 24% intend to take three or more trips, likely influenced by financial pressures.

Mediterranean Destinations Remain Popular

Southern Europe continues to be the top choice for vacationers, with 45% of travelers favoring warmer destinations. Interest in Southern Europe remains stable compared to 2023 but has dropped 10% since 2022. Spain and Italy lead the preferences, each chosen by 8% of respondents, followed by France (7%) and Greece (6%).

The preference for sun and beach holidays is strong, with 19% of Europeans choosing this type of vacation. Other popular options include culture and heritage holidays (17%), nature and outdoors trips (14%), and city breaks (13%).

Travelers’ destination choices are influenced by safety (16%), pleasant weather (13%), and good deals (11%). The friendliness of locals and stable temperatures are also significant factors, each influencing 8% of respondents.

Peak Travel Periods and Transport Choices

Most European holidaymakers plan to travel during the summer months, with 45% intending to go on holiday in June and July, and 39% in August and September. Only 12% aim to travel in October and November, suggesting that last year’s heatwaves and overcrowding have not significantly deterred this year’s plans.

Air travel remains the most popular mode of transport for inter-European journeys. Over half (54%) of Europeans favor flying, up 5% from last year, driven by restored air connectivity and low-cost flight options. British (73%), Spanish (68%), and Italian (62%) travelers are the most likely to fly.

Driving is the second most popular travel mode, chosen by 28% of respondents, slightly down from 30% last year. This preference is notably strong among Germans (40%), Belgians (38%), and Austrians (35%). Train travel holds steady at 10%.

Financial Constraints and Digital Planning

Financial constraints continue to affect travel behavior, with high trip costs (21%) and personal finances (16%) being significant concerns. Geopolitical issues, including the Russia-Ukraine war (11%) and tensions in the Middle East (10%), also impact travel plans. Moreover, 10% of travelers are worried about extreme weather and transport disruptions.

Climate change is increasingly influencing travel decisions, with 76% of respondents adjusting their habits accordingly. Older travelers (55+) are particularly cautious, with 32% avoiding destinations with extreme temperatures. Stable weather conditions are preferred by 16% of travelers, and 15% monitor weather forecasts closely.

Nearly all European travelers rely on digital tools for planning, primarily using online search engines and travel websites. Despite the introduction of AI tools by some travel companies, only 6% of travelers use them for planning. Younger travelers (aged 25-34) are the primary users of AI, with 42% employing AI apps for itinerary planning and 35% using AI platforms for travel purposes.

For a detailed analysis, the full report is available at the European Travel Commission’s website.

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