Covid shatters winter travel plans across Europe

Winter travel across Europe has effectively been wiped out by the latest wave of Covid-19, according to new data.

Only 17% of Europeans plan to travel by the end of January amidst a spike in cases of the virus and the imposition of lockdown restrictions.

This represents a sharp 21% drop compared to the previous European Travel Commission survey, showing that the recent surge in Covid cases and uncertainty surrounding travel measures has forced travel plans to be put on hold.

Quarantine measures remain the top concern for 15% of respondentsfollowed by fear of becoming ill at the destination and rising cases of the virus (both at 13%).

Health and safety remain the primary consideration in Europeans’ travel plans and is especially important for respondents over 55-years-old.

Air travel and public transportation in destinations continue to be regarded as the least safe parts of a journey, according to 19% and 14% of respondents respectively.

Bars and restaurants are also a rising concern, indicated by 11% of Europeans that took the survey.

The share of those planning to travel in the next six months fell from 54% in October’s poll to 49% in November, while uncertainty about the exact timing of the next trip increased by 13% in the last month.

The proportion of Europeans who are not making any travel plans now stands at 18% as sentiment towards travel deteriorates.

Travel within Europe is the top choice with an equal share of respondents (38%) favouring domestic and intra-European trips.

Leisure is the primary purpose for almost 63% of the surveyed respondents planning to travel in the short-term, while visiting friends and relatives is the main purpose for 22%. Business travel accounts for just 9% of respondents.

City breaks remain the most favoured type of trip among 19% of Europeans, despite the pandemic’s effect on metropolitan areas,

Other leading preferences include holidays in nature and outdoors (15%) and travels with a focus on culture and heritage (14%).

Half (51%) intend to fly to their next destination, while 37% prefer travelling by car.

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