Safety ‘primary factor’ influencing choice of European destination, inbound poll finds

Safety is the main factor influencing the choice of European destinations under consideration by inbound travellers from long-haul markets this year.

The issue is the “primary factor”, with 45% of respondents across all markets prioritising a secure travel environment, according to research by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail

High-quality tourism infrastructure ranks second, with 38% considering  this as being essential.

The snapshot of 2024 travel sentiments and plans for the first four months of the year analyses the intention to travel to Europe from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and the US.

China is the only country where travel sentiment is in decline, recording a 14% decrease in long-haul travel intention.

Intention to travel internationally from the key US market remains consistent with 2023 levels, with 60% of respondents expressing a desire to do so, the study found.

Among those eager to travel overseas in all key markets in 2024, three-quarters plan to visit Europe, with the remainder considering other regions.

Among those choosing not to travel overseas to Europe, 36% cite substantial travel costs as the main deterrent, with limited holiday time being another significant factor for 12% of respondents.

International travellers on average plan to visit three European countries during their next trip, with most (58%) considering holidays ranging from one to two weeks. Australians plan to stay longer, with half of  those asked in the country considering trips lasting more than a fortnight.

ETC president Miguel Sanz said: “The evolving landscape of international travel demands that Europe adapt to the diverse preferences and expectations of travellers. 

“It is especially clear that safety and economic factors play a pivotal role in travellers’ choice of destinations. Nevertheless, Europe’s enduring appeal and the resilience of its tourism sector remain steadfast.

“In 2024, European tourism faces a promising yet challenging year, requiring the industry to manage the recovering consumer demand and embrace responsible and sustainable practices.”

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