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European travelers opting for early summer trips

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European travelers opting for early summer trips

Approximately 72 percent of Europeans intend on traveling between April and September.

However, rising travel costs due to inflation, the ongoing war in Ukraine and concerns about extreme weather have affected the travel choices of Europeans for spring and summer 2023.

These insights come from the European Travel Commission (ETC) and its latest research ‘Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 15’.

Luís Araújo, President of ETC, stated: “We are thrilled to see that despite financial concerns and higher travel costs, Europeans remain eager to travel. It is also encouraging to witness that more travelers choose off-peak summer travel to avoid overcrowding and peak prices.

“This positive trend supports sustainable destination management by spreading tourism flows more evenly. We advise destinations and businesses to closely follow these trends to meet the evolving needs of travellers.”

Off-peak popularity

Nearly 30 percent of European travelers intend to take an overnight trip between April and May, representing a six percent increase over 2022. Additionally, 40 percent of respondents said they are considering traveling from June to July.

However, only 23 percent expect to take trips during August and September, a nine percent drop from last year. This shift in seasonal travel patterns may reflect a growing desire to avoid peak crowds and heatwaves.

Inflation remains a key concern

The biggest travel concern for Europeans is increased costs due to inflation (23 per cent), as well as worries about personal finances (17 per cent). As such, 51 per cent have already made partial or full bookings for their next trip – an eight per cent increase from 2022 – to secure lower prices.

Pleasant weather conditions (18 per cent) is the most important factor when choosing a destination, followed by bargains (17 per cent), lack of overcrowding (11 per cent) and welcoming local communities (10 per cent).

However, after recent unpredictable weather conditions, seven percent of European travelers cited extreme weather events as a significant worry.

The war in Ukraine is another source of concern (12 percent), particularly for Swiss, Polish, Austrian, Italian and Dutch respondents. As the conflict continues, it impacts travel-related decisions for half of Europeans.

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