10-Jun-2021 10:48 AM

ETC: Long haul travellers from major origin markets cautious about travel to Europe

European Travel Commission (ETC) released (09-Jun-2021) its 'Long-Haul Travel Barometer' for 2H2021, reporting that even after one year of strict COVID-19 restrictions, travellers from overseas markets are still hopeful to travel but are also cautious when considering Europe as a destination due to the lack of harmonised rules on travel across the region. ETC stated that over the coming months, unity and consistency of safety measures will be of key importance if European destinations are to capitalise on recent positive developments. According to the report: 

  • Jul-2021 and Aug-2021 are the most popular months among travellers wishing to visit Europe in summer;
  • Sentiment towards overseas travel in the US and Russia remains positive. However, only 40% of respondents from these markets are optimistic about visiting Europe in summer 2021. This is a warning sign for Europe and may lead to the region losing out to domestic and short haul destinations due to their geographical proximity and openness to travellers from either the US or Russia;
  • For US respondents, a positive index value of 110 points (against a 100 baseline) was recorded for long haul travel, a decrease of 17 points from the beginning of 2021. When asked about travel to Europe, the score drops to negative sentiment (97 points), suggesting Americans are not yet confident it will be possible to visit and move freely within the region in summer 2021;
  • In Russia, the situation is similar, with higher index values for general overseas trips (119 points) and lower index scores for overseas trips to Europe (93 points). Russian respondents appear not to be especially worried about COVID-19 when travelling, however, they are more cautious about travel related costs, suggesting that affordability will be a top priority for future trips;
  • Brazilian respondents demonstrated optimism about travelling overseas (126 points) between May-2021 to Aug-2021, however, the sentiment for travelling to Europe is much lower at 100 points. It is unlikely that there will be an immediate improvement to this sentiment given that an increasing number of European countries are introducing entry bans on Brazilians due to a more transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus;
  • Results from the Chinese market disclose eagerness for overseas travel to resume, with 53% of respondents enthusiastic to travel abroad. Their understanding of current travel restrictions in Europe, however, reveals that only 26% are confident that they will travel to the region if permitted. The evolution of travel demand from China is hard to predict and will depend on mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccines, the resumption of air activity between the regions, and the Chinese Government's travel advice;
  • Across all analysed markets, the sentiment index score for long haul trips is the weakest in Japan (75 points), where less than 20% of respondents are considering travel to a destination outside East Asia between May-2021 and Aug-2021. When asked about the reason for this decision, 44% of Japanese respondents indicated that they do not have plans to visit overseas destinations in the coming months, signalling that travelling is not a priority at the moment, while another 43% acknowledged COVID-19 related concerns. [more - original PR]

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