European tourists back to travel. Read the new ETC’recommendations

The report “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 8”, published by the European Travel Commission (ETC) in September 2021, highlights a high travel sentiment, with 68% of Europeans planning to travel between July 2021 and January 2022; in fact, 54% of them are more optimistic and confident thanks to the vaccine and the EU digital COVID-19 certificate which is contributing to the increase of bookings.

Figure 1. Question n.3 “Which factors will make you feel more confident to start planning a trip in the next months within Europe?”, Top travel confidence booster, from MONITORING SENTIMENT FOR DOMESTIC AND INTRA-EUROPEAN TRAVEL – WAVE 8, slide 39

Recommendations for destinations:

  • Destinations should maintain their focus on countries that top the vaccination uptake list and on age groups with a high share of fully vaccinated consumers.
  • Destinations should further enhance strict health & safety protocols and highlight their positive performance in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in response to travellers’ acute concerns about destinations’ COVID-19 case levels and effective management of the pandemic.
  • With increasing interest in road trips and in outdoor holidays, destinations could co-create themed intra-regional car routes based on visitors’ interests to help disperse visitor flows and build inter-regional tourism partnerships.
  • Responding to Europeans’ taste for 4-6-night city breaks, urban destinations can promote indepth experiences, such as local cultural events, multi-day workshops and day trips to nearby places to attract longer stays that result in greater economic contributions

Recommendations for businesses:

  • Businesses could offer early-bird deals for Q4 2021 that focus on driving-distance audiences and that have flexible booking terms.
  • Businesses catering for families should highlight their offer as a way to spend quality time together and re-connect, while businesses focusing on couples should spotlight romantic leisure time and enjoying life in a relaxing environment.
  • Hotels should focus on short booking windows, as 44% of ‘early-bird’ travellers have chosen where they want to go but have not yet booked their accommodation.
  • Utilising unsold room inventory through negotiating with carefully selected content creators could be a way for independent hotels and resorts to further communicate their brand, provide engaging content and drive direct sales.
  • In response to declining interest in air travel, aviation stakeholders should promote last-minute deals, flexible cancellation policies and the strict implementation of health & safety protocols at airports and in-flight

The report highlights that the top 3 factors boosting travellers’ confidence for the next two months are getting vaccinated, pre-travel COVID-19 tests and destinations’ effectiveness in managing COVID-19.

Download the ETC’s report here.

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