Security and affordability key considerations for summer travel to Europe

Security and affordability have been raised as key considerations for potential travellers to Europe from long-haul markets this summer.

A study by the European Travel Commission (ETC) of 7,000 travellers from seven markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and North America – found 59% of respondents interested in overseas trips, 9% compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

While Europe remains a top destination choice, with 41% planning to visit this summer, the proportion is down 4% from 2019 levels.

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Safety emerged as the top criterion for long-haul travellers when choosing a destination in Europe this summer. 

Nearly half (45%) of respondents prioritise European destinations perceived as secure, up 9% compared to summer 2022 and 6% since last summer. 

Quality tourism infrastructure is ranked second (38%), followed by a 7% resurgence in the appeal of iconic landmarks, from 29% in summer 2023 to 36% this summer.

Stable weather conditions is the top factor for 31% of respondents. 

Convenience is also important, with 20% of travellers opting for destinations which can be reached by a direct flight and 20% preferring a  place with good train connections to other places of interest.

Affordability remains a consideration for 23% of respondents, but has declined from 32% last year. 

“This shift indicates that travellers are increasingly focusing on quality and safety, valuing a smooth travel experience over strict budget limitations,” the ETC said.

A growing desire for more immersive travel experiences also emerged, including greater interest in extended holidays with trips exceeding two weeks rising from 13% in 2019 to 21% in 2024. As many as 67% of long-haul travellers to Europe are opting for multi-country itineraries.

More than half (53%) of respondents reported being open to travelling to Europe during off-peak periods, attracted by potential cost savings and the opportunity to experience popular attractions more intimately.

Almost two-third (61%) gravitate towards destinations with well-developed infrastructure and renowned attractions. 

Half of the respondents want to support local suppliers, while the remaining half prefer familiar accommodation, dining and shopping brands.

Findings by the ETC include:

  • China and Brazil show the strongest intention to visit Europe this summer, with 62% and 52% of travellers planning a trip, largely driven by more affluent individuals.
  • Travellers from the US and Canada are showing a more cautious approach to European travel, with interest growing slightly since last year to 40% and 42% respectively.
  • Australia and South Koreashow moderate enthusiasm, as interest sits at 37% and 35% respectively.
  • Japan shows more limited interest at 19%, as travel recovery from the country continues to be slow.
  • Across all markets, younger travellers (aged 18-24 and 34-49) and those with higher incomes show the strongest preference for European trips.

ETC president Miguel Sanz, said: “We are seeing an increased interest in longer stays, allowing tourists to develop a deeper connection with the local culture and support the businesses that make each destination unique.

“In addition, the openness to off-season travel presents a golden opportunity to spread tourism more evenly throughout the year. This can help reduce peak periods’ social and environmental strain and better support destinations’ visitor economy.”

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