Most Europeans plan summer breaks ‘but only a quarter have booked already’

Three in four Europeans intend to take a trip in the next six months, with Mediterranean destinations having the highest appeal, latest research shows.

The desire across Europe for travel is undoubtedly strong despite the uncertainty caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing threat of Covid-19, according to the European Travel Commission (ETC) study.

An increasing share of Europeans (77%) are eager to travel between April and September.

More than half (56%) of them plan to visit another European country, while 31% are opting for domestic travel.

Respondents from Italy, Spain, Poland, UK, and Germany are demonstrating the strongest optimism about taking a trip (80%).

But only a quarter of Europeans have fully booked, indicating a “limited level” of financial commitment.

The European travel sector must ensure it is targeting last-minute holidaymakers this summer, ITC said.

Spain is the most favoured destination among Europeans travelling abroad this summer followed by Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.

Travel intentions increase with age, rising from 69% among Gen Z (18-24 years old) to 83% among baby boomers (over 54 years old).

Sun and beach holidays (22%) are the preferred option for the coming months followed  by city breaks (15%) and vacations by the water or coast (15%).

Most Europeans with travel plans intend to take a 4-6-night (33%) or 7-9-night (27%) holidays.

Only 25% will opt for trips of 10 nights or longer, mostly family travellers, while couples strongly prefer micro-trips of up to 3 nights in duration.

One in two travellers will take a flight to reach their next destination.

A rising share of European travellers plan to spend €500-€1,500, with a respective drop in higher budgets, potentially due to the growing concerns over inflation.

ETC president Luís Araujo said: “Our report demonstrates that European confidence in travelling is growing now that Covid-19 has largely become a fact of life.

“New uncertainties on the horizon, namely the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the rising cost of living, are presenting challenges for the travel sector.

“However, ETC is pleased to see that in spite of these uncertainties, appetite for travel is still on the rise and the European tourism sector remains resilient.”

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