68% of Europeans said they plan to travel between July 2021 and January 2022, while far fewer expressed reluctance (17%) or uncertainty (15%) to travel in the immediate future. At the same time, Greece is in fourth place behind Spain, Italy and France as a preferred destination for those who say they are ready to travel in the fall.

The above results from the latest research on “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 8” of the European Travel Commission, which provides  information on the travel intentions and preferences of Europeans during the covid pandemic on a rolling basis.

Vaccination remains a key prerequisite for boosting travel confidence and increasing bookings. The recent availability of vaccines has allowed more than half (54%) of Europeans to feel much more optimistic about travel planning in the coming months, with only 21% expressing skepticism.

In addition, one in two Europeans intends to book a trip once vaccinated. At the same time, more than half (57%) of respondents expect that the EU Digital Certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip and border crossing, while only 18% doubt that it will facilitate and simplify their travel experience.

Demand for leisure travel

The travel mood and the adjustment to the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 brought the demand for leisure travel to the highest point (72% of early bird »travelers) since the beginning of this research, about a year ago. At the same time, outdoor vacations remain attractive and more than 20% of Europeans surveyed plan to start trips in October or November and spend time on the coast or in nature.

Research shows that interest in intra-European travel has also risen to its highest level since last summer. More than half (53%) of Europeans with direct travel plans (in autumn) prefer to visit another European country, with Italy (8.9%), Spain (8.1%), France (8%) ), Greece (6.8%) and Croatia (6.4%) being at the top of the list of preferences.

It should also be noted that the number of respondents who avoided planning a trip decreased by 20%, reaching the lowest point (16%) since September 2020. Vaccine availability, flexible cancellation policies and the lifting of travel restrictions are the top factors that boost respondents’ confidence in their next trip to Europe.

However, some concerns still hinder travel planning despite higher travel intentions. Europeans with short-term travel plans remain concerned about quarantine measures (18%), increased intra-destination COVID-19 cases (16%) and changes in travel restrictions during their journey (15%).