Brits still keen to travel despite cost concerns dampening European travel intent

Travel intent for trips by Europeans from June to November has fallen by 4%  due to cost of living concerns but the British are among the most eager to get away, new research reveals.

The year-on-year sentiment study by the European Travel Commission (ETC) suggests financial pressures are influencing holidaymakers following a slowdown in pent-up demand after Covid-19. 

While the number of Europeans planning to take trips decreased by 4% compared to last year, intent still remains high at 69%. 

Despite rising costs of living, European travellers are planning multiple trips, with 33% aiming to travel twice and 26% at least three times this summer and autumn.

Austrians, Swiss, and Germans were found to stand out as the most hesitant holidaymakers, with 45%, 56%, and 62% of respondents respectively having travel plans in the next months. 

In contrast, the French (80%), the Belgians (79%) and the British (75%) are most eager to travel over the same period.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of European travellers are worried about the overall rise of trip costs, up by 6% on last year, while 17% are concerned with the economic situation and their finances.

As a result, 17% aim to travel off-season to get better prices, 14% plan to take holidays in destinations they perceive as more affordable. They are also seeking cheaper air fares, with 13% aiming to book flights earlier than usual to get the best deal and 12% planning to fly low-cost airlines.

Europeans also continue to adapt their behaviour when in destination to fit in with available budgets – 17% will cut shopping expenses, 15% will search out cheaper restaurants and 15% will choose cheaper accommodation.

Other factors causing worries among European travellers are Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine (12%), overcrowded tourist destinations (9%), booking and cancellation policies (9%) and possible extreme weather conditions (8%).

Spain remains the most popular country, followed by France, Italy, Greece and Croatia but Mediterranean destinations have seen a 10% drop in visitors aiming to travel there from last year. 

By contrast, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Denmark are seeing a surge in popularity. 

“This can be attributed to travellers seeking out less crowded destinations, and milder temperatures,” according to the ETC 

ETC president Migual Sanz said: “Our latest data shows that concerns over inflation and personal finances persist among European travellers. 

“Nevertheless, Europeans are still eager to travel in the upcoming months. 

“Many are hunting for alternative travel choices, looking for more affordable experiences or considering off-season travel to stretch their budgets. 

“We advise destinations and businesses to capitalise on these trends and assist travellers in going off the beaten track and travelling in the less busy months”.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.