“Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel” is a project co-founded by the European Union, which gauges the sentiment, drivers and behaviors for domestic and intra-European travel in ten high-volume European source markets: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Austria.
Key findings and recommendations are made available to destinations and tourism authorities through six monthly reports since September 2020. The third report, which has been released in November 2020, has identified the top 5 markets which are most likely to travel in the next 6 months.
1. Top source markets
1. Poland (67.8%)
The Polish desire for travel holds top spot among the surveyed markets, despite a minor drop.
2. France (51.7%)
The French demonstrate a stable and quite positive travel sentiment, with domestic destinations being their most popular choice.
3. Spain (50.8%)
1 in 2 Spanish respondents have a positive sentiment towards travel, showing a consistently high interest in domestic trips.
4. Austria (49.6%)
Austrians’ overall attitude to travel remains consistent over time, with intra-European and domestic trips equally popular.
5. Switzerland (48.5%)
For the Swiss, although desire for travel bounces back, uncertainty about the exact timing and destination for their next trip grows.
2. Research Highlights
- Respondents aged 35-44 demonstrate a slightly greater desire to travel, while Gen Z respondents (aged 18-24) remain the least likely to take a trip in the coming months.
- Domestic travelling is an alternative considered more by respondents over the age of 45, while travelling to another European country is more appealing for the 25-44 age groups.
- Despite the effect of Covid-19 on urban areas, respondents more interested in city trips still show the strongest desire to travel.
- Leisure remains the leasing purpose for travel, followed by visiting friends and relatives.
- Despite many European cities facing a new lockdown, the city break is still the top leisure trip preference.
- Markets remain loyal to specific tourism products; Spaniards show the strongest interest in city breaks, Germans and Belgians in nature and outdoors, while Italians favor culture and heritage. While Britons maintain a strong preference for sun and beach, Poles are now more interested in coast and sea; Swiss and Austrians keen on taking a ski/snowboard trip.
- More than 2 in 3 Europeans surveyed will travel with their partner or family, a consistent fact across all research waves.
- 2 in 3 Europeans intend to plan their next trip online. Over 7 out of 10 Europeans will book their next trip through digital platforms, while the preference for the travel agent/designer is stable.
- While half of respondents are planning to fly on their next trip, air travel demand in Europe is still well below its 2019 level.
- Accommodation preferences remain steady across research waves, with over half of respondents favoring a stay at a hotel or resort.
- Health and safety, peace of mind and affordability have consolidated their positions as leading travel qualities during the persisting pandemic.
- The proportion of Europeans not planning any trips in the next 6 months grows (+17%) as the second wave of Covid-19 infection persists.
- “Finding a vaccine for Covid-19” and “flexible cancellation policies” remain key to travel decision-making among Europeans.
- Nearly 1 in 3 respondents feel anxious about getting on a plane or using public transport at the destination.