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A significant rebound in consumer intention to travel, especially in Europe: 71% of Europeans will be traveling this summer


Europ Assistance (“EA”) today announced the international findings of their 21st edition of the Holiday Barometer. The survey was conducted by Ipsos, a global market research firm, among 15,000 people across 15 countries. It tracks global travel trends. The survey was taken between April 26 and May 16, 2022.

Julia Ricks, Head of International Travel at Europ Assistance Group, commented on the findings: “This year’s travel intentions reflect a real excitement for travel, surpassing pre-pandemics levels, especially in Europe. Compared to 2021, we observed a significant return to international travel and higher average holiday budgets, supported by a significant decrease in COVID-19 related issues that favors airplane trips and an increased demand in hotel stays. Ongoing inflation hasn’t stopped but contained travel enthusiasm after two years of restrictions, but inflation is the most significant travel concern this year. Early bookings and the importance of being covered with trip insurance appear to holidaymakers new habits that could become permanent.”

Key takeaways

  • 72% of Europeans feel “really excited to travel” or “happy to travel” this year; overall, with 71% of Europeans intending to travel during the summer, which represents a +14pts increase compared to 2021.
  • Holidaymakers are spending more money this summer: they report a higher travel budget this year than they did in 2021, with average levels increasing around +20%. This remains lower than pre-pandemics levels.
  • This leads to return to a number of pre-Covid travel habits, such as:
    • Appeal of travel abroad increasing significantly: 48% (+13pts) of Europeans, 36% (+11pts) of Americans and 56% (+7pts) of Thais intend to travel abroad this summer. Nevertheless, domestic travel remains at higher level than 2019 in almost all the countries.
    • City adventures are popular again: they appear as the most popular type of destination for North Americans.
    • Hotels continue to be the preferred choice for accommodation (52% of holidaymakers in US, 46% / +9pts in Europe) while vacation rentals remain attractive (30% in Europe, 20% in USA).
    • Air travel is back: Europeans will use their car less than last year (55%, -9pts) and favor air travel (33%, +11pts). Same goes for Americans, in more balanced proportions (48%, -7pts vs 43%, +5pts).
    • People are back to planning vacation ahead of time, rather than leaving it till last minute: only 22% of Europeans have not yet decided  on their destination(-10pts vs last year).
  • Covid-19 is no longer the first concern for European and North American travelers, overpassed by both inflation and personal / family reasons concerns.
  • Concerns about inflation and price increases are much present in peoples’ mind: financial considerations are mentioned as one of the main reasons not to travel by 41% of Europeans who won’t be going on a trip this summer (+14pts vs 2021), 45% of Americans (+9pts) and 34% of Thais (+10pts).
  • With an ever-growing awareness of travel-related cancellations and health concerns, Covid-19 has transformed travel insurance purchases into a durable trend that should continue well beyond the pandemic period.
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