Travel

Safety And Affordability Aim For International Travelers To Europe

European tourism sectors are currently in an optimistic mood as they expect strong development in key long-haul markets in 2024.

However, the latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB) from the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail BV finds that travelers are showing greater reluctance to travel to Europe in the first four months of the year.

The newly released LHTB provides a snapshot of aim for international travelers sentiment and plans for the first four months of 2024, analyzing European travel intentions in seven overseas markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and the US.

Key takeaways for 2024 include:

  • High optimism about traveling abroad in 2024 was recorded in Brazil (76%), Australia (73%), Canada (72%) and South Korea (71%).
  • In the U.S., intention to travel abroad remains at 2023 levels, with 60% of respondents expressing a desire to do so.
  • Japan has seen a slight increase of 5% in respondents planning to travel abroad since 2023, but intent remains relatively low at 35%.
  • China is the only market where travel sentiment is declining, recording a 14% decline in long-distance travel intentions.
  • Nevertheless, 64% of those surveyed are still planning a long-distance trip in 2024.
    Of those planning to travel abroad to all major markets in 2024, 75% plan to visit Europe, while the remaining 25% are considering other regions.

Miguel Sanz, President of ETC, commented on the findings: “The evolving landscape of international travel requires Europe to adapt to the different preferences and expectations of travelers.” What is particularly clear is that safety and economic factors play a role in the choice of travel destination by travelers play a crucial role. Nevertheless, Europe’s enduring attractiveness and the resilience of its tourism sector remain undiminished.”

Sanz added: “European tourism faces a promising but challenging year in 2024, requiring the industry to manage recovering consumer demand and adopt responsible and sustainable practices.”

Safety is the most important factor when choosing a destination for travelers planning to visit Europe this year. 45% of respondents across all markets value a safe travel environment.

In second place is high-quality tourism infrastructure, with 38% considering it essential.

Famous attractions and affordable services also play a big role in destination choice, with 35% of travelers abroad citing these as their top priorities.

Canada, the USA and Australia in particular are characterized by their strong focus on affordability. Pleasant weather conditions play an important role in travel decisions and are viewed as crucial by an average of 31% of respondents.

Beyond these primary considerations, Korean and Chinese vacationers show a strong preference for destinations that preserve their natural and cultural heritage, with 33% and 32% of respondents respectively prioritizing this factor. This trend suggests a unique preference for destinations that maintain their authenticity.

Of those choosing not to travel abroad to Europe in 2024, 36% cite the significant cost of travel as a key barrier, with limited vacation time another important factor for 12% of respondents.

Despite the challenges of rising travel costs and the growing attractiveness of alternative regions, Europe remains attractive for long-distance travelers in the first four months (January to April) of 2024:

  • Chinese (50%) and Brazilians (49%) show the strongest intention to visit Europe. In both markets, the positive sentiment is driven by younger respondents with higher incomes.
  • Australia and South Korea show moderate travel sentiment, with almost 40% considering European travel through April.
  • Canadians and Americans are expressing interest in traveling to Europe this year, but enthusiasm remains muted in early 2024.
  • Less than a third of respondents in each market (28%) are planning a trip to Europe during this period.
  • Although Japanese travelers’ travel intentions have increased this year, optimism about traveling to Europe in January and April is minimal, with only 14% considering a trip to the region.

On average, international travelers plan to visit three European countries on their next trip. To accommodate their busy travel schedules, most (58%) are considering a one- to two-week vacation. Australians are planning an even longer stay, with half of respondents considering a trip lasting more than two weeks.

The data also reveals different daily budget preferences and underscores the need for travel providers to offer experiences tailored to a variety of visitors, from high-spending travelers to budget-conscious travelers. Across all markets, 38% of respondents are willing to spend more than €200 per day – a budget particularly popular with Chinese (78%) and Brazilian (50%) travelers.

A mid-range budget of €100-200 is the second most popular option, chosen by 31% of long-distance travelers. This budget range is particularly popular in Australia (40%) and South Korea (42%). Only 21% of respondents are considering a daily budget of less than €100, although that number accounts for 36% of Canadian travelers.

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Hudson, the travel scribe, paints the world with his words. His tales are a passport to unseen places, his passion, the compass guiding his journeys. From the rhythm of city life to the tranquility of nature, he weaves narratives that are not just travelogues, but love letters to exploration and storytelling.
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