ETC Report: Lack of Confidence Leaves Travelers Still Hesitant to Travel to Europe

Travelers from several key international markets are still hesitant to travel to Europe, according to findings in a report published by the European Travel Commission (ETC).

According to the report, travelers still do not have confidence in European cohesiveness in travel restrictions, or the easing of travel restrictions. This is due to Member States’ continued un-coordinated travel restrictions, leading to much confusion and little confidence among people who are looking to visit the continent.

The key markets mentioned in the ETC’s report are the United States, Russia, Brazil, Japan, and China.

The Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHBT) scores confidence and desire for travel with a scale of 100. Numbers higher than 100 represent positive intent to travel, whereas numbers below 100 represent negative intent to travel.

According to LHBT scores, US travelers expressed a negative intent to travel to Europe with a score of 97, however, they showed positive intent to travel elsewhere abroad.

Russian travelers expressed similar sentiments, scoring a 93 (negative) intent to travel to Europe and a positive score of intent to travel elsewhere abroad.

Brazilian travelers expressed a neutral score of 100 in their intent to travel to Europe, and a very high score of 126 in their intent to travel elsewhere.

Japanese travelers expressed the lowest level of intent in traveling to Europe with a score of 75. Most respondents did not want to travel outside of East Asia.

Finally, Chinese travelers expressed more intent to travel abroad, however, they did not express much intent or enthusiasm about traveling to Europe given their understanding of Europe’s current travel rules.

Even as the European authorities are rushing to roll out the Digital Covid-19 Certificate and open their borders, travelers still do not trust that their efforts will last. Travelers are also confused on a mass scale of what rules they will have to follow when traveling to Europe, as every Member State still has different regulations.

Potential travelers to the bloc will need time to regain trust in the governance over travel and tourism in order to feel comfortable investing large sums of money to travel there again. The coming months could end up being better than expected, however, if authorities manage to restore lost trust soon enough.

“With the planned opening of European borders over the coming months, it is imperative that clear and coherent messages are communicated to international travelers wishing to visit Europe. The restart of European tourism in summer 2021 is now a realistic possibility. Still, our research shows that a lack of clarity, coupled with a disjointed and uncoordinated approach, means that travelers are hesitant to consider Europe as a destination right now. However, with progressing vaccination campaigns across the world, we have high expectations for the late summer and strong autumn season. The right investment in travel promotion and in boosting tourism confidence will play a significant role in salvaging this summer and beyond,” said Executive Director of the ETC Eduardo Santander.

August 2021 appears to be the most attractive time to visit Europe in 2021, however. According to the report, 31% of Brazilian, 26% of US, 25% of Chinese, and 22% of Russian respondents to the LHTB survey expressed serious interest in coming to Europe during that time frame.

With the rollout of the Digital Covid-19 Certificate and loosening entry restrictions in Europe, the late summer and early autumn tourism season might beat expectations.

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