A study by the European Travel Commission (ETC) has found that 77% of European travellers plan to take a trip in the first half of 2023, while travel spend holding strong, as more than half of those surveyed planning on spending over €1,000 per person per trip.

ETC’s report, titled Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel, shows that while the current financial climate remains a concern for travellers, they are also showing a growing desire to travel outside their own country, with 63% of respondents  favouring international trips within Europe. This accounts for double digit growth in just one year. In addition, planned holiday budgets remain unchanged, showing determination to travel despite financial uncertainty. Up 6% from a year ago, 37% of European will still spend between €1,000 and €2,000 per person per trip for their next holiday. An additional 19% will spend more, exceeding the €2,000 mark.

Commenting on the study, Luis Araujo, President of ETC said: “The recent figures show that travel remains a top priority for Europeans in the first half of 2023.  This is welcome news, especially considering much of the intended travel is planned within Europe. These trends paint a hopeful picture for the sector this year, and prove its resilience in the face of global economic challenges. Now, to capitalise on consumer confidence and early bookings, the industry should closely follow and anticipate shifts in consumer needs and tailor its offers accordingly.”

The report also highlighted that despite the desire to travel, rising costs worry 23% of Europeans, while an additional 18% described their personal finances and economic situation as preoccupying.

Travellers are responding to the financial challenges with a more proactive and flexible purchase behaviour. Europeans are committing to their trips earlier than a year ago: 44% have already fully or partially booked their next holiday, a 7% increase over 2022. In choosing a destination, attract deals and bargains (17% ) are of key concern, second only to pleasant weather (18%).

However the overall trends from the study show that despite soaring energy coasts and an increase in price for basic necessities such as food, clothing, travel continues to be a high priority for Europeans.  Notably, travel is the only discretionary expense that people are prepared to maintain (49%) or increase (16%) spending on in today’s economic conditions. In total, 58% of respondents plan to travel at least twice, either domestically or internationally in the coming months.

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