The survey was conducted by Ipsos, a global market research firm, among 15,000 people across 15 countries between 26 April and 16 May 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.
“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.”
Seventy-two per cent of Europeans feel ‘really excited to travel’ or ‘happy to travel’ this year, with 71 per cent of Europeans intending to travel during the summer.
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 per cent. This remains lower than pre-pandemics levels.
Covid-19 no longer first concern for travellers
Covid-19 is no longer the first concern for European and North American travellers, overpassed by both inflation and personal 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 per cent of Europeans who won’t be going on a trip this summer, 45 per cent of Americans and 34 per cent of Thais.
Additionally, 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.
When asked about the return to ‘normal conditions’ of travel, perceptions vary considerably from one country to another. Thais, Australians and Austrians are the most pessimistic, with half of the population thinking situation will come back to normal only in 2024, with some respondents indicating it may be later, or even never. On the contrary, Poles, Czech and Swiss are the most optimistic, with nearly four out of 10 saying a return to normal travel is already possible.
But Covid-19 may have changed habits for the working population. Around a quarter to one third of the active population declare that they will be working from a holiday location during the summer aka a ‘workation’. It is particularly true among Portuguese (39 per cent), Americans (32 per cent), Poles (32 per cent) and Australians (31 per cent).