September 28, 2021

Europeans Still Eager to Travel, Greece Tops Their Bucket List

Greece is among the 10 destinations on European traveler bucket lists for both summer and autumn, according to the latest survey released on Thursday by the European Travel Commission (ETC).

A closer look at the ETC’s “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 8” study reveals that nearly 70 percent of Europeans polled plan to travel by the end of January 2022 while significantly fewer expressed unwillingness (17 percent) or uncertainty (15 percent) to do so.

Greece is one of the destinations topping their wish lists as over half of those with short-term travel plans are looking to visit another European country. Over half (53 percent) of Europeans with short-term travel plans said they prefer to visit another European country, with Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Croatia at the top of their destination wish list. 

ETC analysts notes that though concerns over rising Covid-19 cases at destinations have intensified by 20 percent, an increasing number of Europeans are still eager to travel and not thinking about changing their travel plans.

The findings also conclude that vaccination against the coronavirus has contributed greatly to a steady tourism recovery playing a determining role in traveler confidence and booking behavior. 

According to the report, vaccination rollouts made more than half (54 percent) of Europeans feel more optimistic about planning a trip abroad in the next months, with 21 percent expressing skepticism. Flexible cancellation policies and fully lifted travel restrictions also boosted confidence levels.

Indicatively, one in two Europeans said they plan to book a trip as soon as they are vaccinated, while 57 percent of those polled expect the EU Digital Covid Certificate to facilitate planning their next vacation and crossing borders.

In terms of choice, the majority of travelers to European destinations are looking to do things outdoors, which has led to an extended summer season. Over 20 percent said they plan to travel in October or November and spend time at the coast or in nature.

Overall in 2021, levels of uncertainty as to where to travel dropped by 20 percent while the number of respondents who refrained from planning trips also fell by 20 percent reaching the lowest point since September 2020. 

On the downside, factors affecting plans for travel include quarantine measures (18 percent), rising Covid-19 cases at destinations (16 percent) and changing travel restrictions during the trip (15 percent). 

Top travelers concerns with regard to personal health and safety are air travel (17 percent), transport at destination (15 percent), and cafes and restaurants (13%).