Gary Diskin - Jul 6, 2020
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After months of self-isolation and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, Europeans can’t wait to travel again. 57% plan to travel the same or longer until the end of 2021, according to a report prepared by the Oliver Wyman consultancy on travel behavior in the main markets in Europe. Even so, wanting to travel doesn’t mean that they’re going to travel the same.

In general terms, Europeans hope to spend the holidays without leaving their own countries despite the opening of borders since July 1. For most tourists, domestic tourism is, above all, the only feasible option, with 72% of the respondents saying that they will spend the holidays within the country.

On the one hand, this is due to underlying fears of running into a worse health crisis in neighboring countries, and, on the other, because citizens want to contribute to the revival of the tourism industry. The third factor for such travel behavior would be the economic concern, which is the issue for 12% of Europeans.

Less International Tourism

63% of Italians claim they will spend the holidays in their country, and so do 49% of the French, 48% of the Germans, and 41% of the English. However, 46% of the European tourists still plan to travel outside the borders this summer. The numbers are higher in the United Kingdom, where 59% of Britons say they will travel for the holidays internationally, as well as 52% of Germans and 51% of the French.

As for the means of transport, some changes can be expected in this year’s holidays. The means of transport heavily leans towards private, owned or rented vehicles, it will grow by 19% on average in Europe while increasing the most in Italy (26%). Most tourists still can’t trust public transport and crowded places, with 60% to 70% of Spanish travelers, Italians and French claiming they won’t use them.

In terms of public transport, the air has the least rejection among Europeans. Only 4% of Germans and 3% of Italians say they won’t fly, although both countries have the highest percentage of citizens who claim that they will fly more frequently (11% of Italians and 10% of Germans). The means of transport that will lose the most users throughout the year will be long-distance coaches, tourist buses and cruises.

While Europeans seem more cautious this summer, the world tourism forecasts are more pessimistic than ever. A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicts falls in income for the global industry between US$1.17 trillion and 3.3 trillion, which is between 1.5% and 4.3% of world GDP. The most affected countries would be the USA and China, followed by Thailand and France.

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