Europeans are eager to travel. Destinations and businesses should adapt their strategy to the new scenario

According to the latest report “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 5” published by the European Travel Commission (ETC) in February 2021, 54% of Europeans aim to make a trip before the end of July 2021, revealing the strong pent-up demand to resume travel. Therefore, it is now necessary for destinations and businesses to become aware of Europeans’ travel intentions as well as tourists’ behaviours and build their strategy for the next season.

Recommendations for destinations:

  • Destinations should monitor vaccine rollout in source market countries and target those prioritised groups who have already received it, i.e. mature travellers.
  • Increasing confidence in air travel should prompt destination authorities to extend their marketing efforts to medium-haul markets and to source countries more dependant on flights, while developing synergies with airlines and hotels for co-branded marketing campaigns (destination partnerships).
  • As Europeans are concerned about their personal health  throughout their in-destination experience, NTBs and DMOs should deploy reassurance campaigns covering equally transport, attractions, restaurant and cafes as well as accomodation.
  • With the 35-44 age group more likely to travel, destinations should highlight family-friendly elements, such as parks and open spaces. NTBs and DMOs could also promote on their destination websites tourism routes to explore by car.

Recommendations for businesses:

  • Businesses and travel agents should target the 55+ age group (mature travellers) and promote cultural products, with a strong emphasis on health and safety.
  • Sun & beach destinations are already in demand, for this reason businesses should prepare and promote sun & beach and city break experiences for the period May-July.
  • Due to the general uncertainty, flexible booking terms and convenient cancellation policies are a must-have.
  • Service providers may extend flexibility beyond cancellation policies, in payment terms; through installments, subscription models, tokens for Food and Beverage outlets or extra discounts for Digital Word of Mouth reference.
  • Restaurants and cafes’ owners should gain travellers’ confidence with strict implementation of health and safety protocols and flag any measures in their promotion campaigns.

What emerges from the report it that travellers put health and safety first (23.6%); while sustainability appears for the first time in the top six travel qualities sought by consumers (5.3%).

Download the report here