Europeans are more interested and ready to travel abroad in the next 12 months, especially Germans, mostly seeking high safety standards and positive epidemiological images from their destinations. However, tourists are still aware of the travel restrictions and hope that these will be eased with the oncoming vaccines.
These are the conclusions from a study on world tourism by ITB Berlin and the research and consulting company IPK International on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism, demand and trends, with an emphasis on Germany as the largest European market.
With the availability of vaccines, Europeans as tourists, as well as the tourism and travel industry, expect a gradual lifting of travel restrictions.
Destinations within Europe are the most sought after, and the attitude towards aircraft is somewhat more positive. The intentions of Germans to travel abroad in the next 12 months increased by six percent compared to the first survey conducted in June this year, making the market well above the European and world average.
Apart from the Germans, an above-average interest in traveling abroad in the next 12 months was also shown by the Swiss, Dutch and Austrians, and as in the summer, they are still focused on several destinations within Europe, among which the Germans prefer Spain and then Italy and Austria.
The study also shows that destinations within Europe have managed to maintain or even expand their potential in the last four months, such as Italy, in contrast to destinations outside Europe, where interest among European tourists is still well below average and has not improved.
In addition, Germans, as well as Europeans in general, have a slightly more positive attitude towards air travel than they had in June, although most are still unsure about the risk of such travel.
A study by the ITB and IPK also examined how Germans, as Europe's most numerous tourists, travelled abroad last summer, concluding that despite the Covid-19 pandemic they were very pleased with their travel experience, and that about a third travelled abroad during the summer months (from June to August), which places them above the European average of 22 percent, but also the world average of 19 percent.
About 60 percent of Germans travelled to neighbouring countries, and for 63 percent the car was the most popular mode of transportation, while 25 percent opted for airplanes and 12 percent for rail.
66 percent of them said that their experiences of traveling abroad at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic were better than they expected.