Summer is here and Germans are once again drawn to vacation after more than two Corona years. Have the last two pandemic years changed the travel habits of Germans? What role does sustainability play in this year's travel planning?
Just in time for the start of the summer vacations, MyPostcard has conducted a current representative survey together with the opinion research institute YouGov to investigate the travel habits of Germans this year.
The global Corona pandemic has had a major impact on tourism over the last two years. The survey shows that the pandemic has also had a lasting effect on Germans' travel habits: Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) travel less today than they did two years ago.
The influence of recent years is also noticeable in the choice of destination. Germany and Europe remain the preferred travel destinations for Germans. At 38 percent, more than a third of those surveyed who are traveling, plan to spend their vacation in Germany this year. Among those aged 55 and over, as many as 46 percent plans to travel in their own country. In addition, a full 47 percent are moving further away and are planning a vacation within Europe. Particularly among the 18-34-year-olds (55 percent), a vacation in Germany is less popular. Just 15 percent of those surveyed are aiming for a long-distance trip this year.
Flights canceled at short notice and new travel regulations have taught us one thing: to remain flexible when planning vacations. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of Germans (54 percent) are planning to travel by car this year - an increase of 30 percent over last year. Alongside the car, the airplane remains a popular means of travel at 39 percent. Among 18-34 year-olds in particular, almost one in two travelers (46 percent) prefers to fly. Just one in five (22 percent) plans to travel by train this year.
German vacationers are aware of the impact of their travels on the environment: more than a third of those surveyed (40 percent) said they were influenced by the aspect of sustainability when planning their trip. This proportion is greatest among the younger generation in particular (18-34 year-olds), at 47 percent.
When it comes to accommodation, 41 percent regard sustainability as important. In addition, more than half of those surveyed (57 percent) are willing to accept higher costs for more sustainable travel. For around a third of them, however, this is linked to the amount of the surcharge. 7 percent of respondents said they would already invest more money here. Regarding air travel, one in five respondents said they would consciously avoid traveling by plane - for both long and short trips (20 and 18 percent respectively).
Despite the trend toward more sustainability in vacation planning, the current political situation seems to be reducing its relevance. According to a YouGov survey from 2020, before the pandemic, 57 percent still viewed sustainability as important when planning their trip. Thus, there has been a decline of 17 percent in this regard.
Moreover, virtual travel is also growing in popularity. A fifth of Germans (21 percent) expect that in 2030, foreign places in the metaverse or with virtual reality glasses will be explored instead of traveling in the classic way - among younger people between 16 and 29 years there is even a quarter (26 percent) of them convinced; 15 percent are among the elderly aged 65 and over.
The metaverse is a virtual space that extends today's Internet and in which one moves and interacts as an avatar, i.e. through a digital model. Despite the obvious attractiveness of virtual excursions, the vast majority (87 percent) assume that classic travel with real experiences will continue to represent an important balance to everyday life in the future. This is shown by a representative survey commissioned by the digital association Bitkom among more than 1,000 people in Germany aged 16 and over.