The latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB) indicates a positive shift in people’s attitudes to overseas travel in September-December 2020. It will take a while, however, before confidence for travel gets back to pre-coronavirus levels. Results of the survey show slow recovery in the travel intention of Chinese, Brazilian and Russian respondents, while Japanese and US respondents are the most pessimistic about taking trips abroad.
The Long-Haul Travel Barometer is an initiative of the European Travel Commission and Eurail B.V aimed at monitoring travel sentiment in some of the most relevant outbound travel markets for Europe, which are: Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. The survey is meant to gauge travellers’ attitudes and intention, and is not meant to quantify prospect demand levels. The large sample size aims to guarantee robust results.
1. Key Findings:
- The surveyed respondents in China, Brazil and Russia are optimistic about travelling long-haul in the last months of 2020, with sentiment index values for all markets above 100. However, as European borders remain closed to travellers from these countries, the sentiment is negative towards Europe. This is especially evident for China, where the sentiment index for visiting European destinations falls to an all-time low at 69 index points.
- Japanese and U.S. respondents are the most pessimistic about overseas trips between September-December 2020. Consumers in these markets do not believe they will be able to visit Europe or other world regions for the remainder of the year.
- The COVID-19 related health and safety measures, constantly evolving travel restrictions and flight cancellations play a key role in people’s desire to travel. Survey results uncover that the majority of respondents in Japan (83%), U.S. (61%) and Russia (52%) are not planning to travel until the end of 2020.
- A significant share of those willing to travel to Europe in the next months has no concrete dates in mind for an actual trip. This indicates both eagerness to travel and uncertainty as to whether the situation will improve by the end of the year.
- Travel-related costs are also among the major factors preventing people from travelling in the short-medium term, which is not surprising given the current volatility of the global economy. This is especially evident for Brazilian and Russian travellers.
- Method of interviewing – The survey relies on self-completion questionnaire via CAWI system (Computer Assisted Web Interview). Respondents are recruited from large Access Panels using the same sampling management and invitation procedures for each wave so to ensure a structural stability over time in the samples interviewed.
- Population and sampling method – the interviews are conducted with national representative samples of adults aged 18-70. A quota sampling method ensure representativeness of the sample compared to the population of each market and are used to weight data after fieldwork to calibrate the sample profile when necessary.
- Sample size per wave – 1.000 interviews per wave / market
Monitored markets: travellers from Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US (5 markets)
- Frequency: The interviews are conducted 3 times per year and provide insights about the travel horizons: January-April; May-August and September-December.
3. Travel themes examined
- People’s intention to travel outside their region of residence
- Barriers to travel
- Important criteria for the selection of destinations
- Travel preferences regarding travel destinations, experiences, etc.
4. How to read the results?
Intention to travel is measured in an index that reflects the dominant sentiment expressed by a market, either a positive or negative one. The index is tied to a base of 100. Values above 100 indicate a positive evolution, whereas values below 100 indicate negative attitudes towards travel in a given time period.
A brief presentation can be found here