Surveys Show Travelers Confident, Interested in Europe

The Long-Haul Travel Barometer shows rising U.S. traveler sentiment to Europe.
The Long-Haul Travel Barometer shows rising U.S. traveler sentiment to Europe. 

While the long-term impact of last week’s Brexit vote will take some time to play out in the travel industry, new research from several travel brands shows a strong appetite for travel in Europe and in general. Although these surveys were conducted before the vote, they show strong fundamentals for the travel industry. 

According to the Vacation Confidence Index from Allianz Travel Insurance, vacation spending is set to rise 11 percent among U.S. travelers. Allianz compiled the Vacation Confidence Index through an ipsos poll of 1,007 randomly selected adults residing in the U.S. from June 2 to 5. 

U.S. travelers are set to spend $1,798 on average when taking a vacation this summer, up from last year’s average of $1,621. That translates to a total projected spend of $89.9 billion for this summer, up from $85.5 billion in 2015. 

The one trouble spot: the number of Americans indicating that they are confident they will take a summer vacation fell one point this year, from 51 percent to 50 percent. At the same time, the number who said that taking an annual vacation is important to them rose eight points to 65 percent, a level not seen since 2010. 

In Europe, the latest research shows some encouraging signs as well. The Long-Haul Travel Barometer, which is compiled by the European Travel Commission (ETC), the European Tourism Association (ETOA) and the Eurail Group, shows that U.S. travel sentiment to Europe rose between January - April 2016 and May - August 2016, from just above 100 points to 108 points. 

The Long-Haul Travel Barometer, which examines traveler sentiment from Europe’s top five markets via an online questionnaire, sampled 1,000 people in the last two weeks of April. 

Additionally, 1 in 3 U.S. respondents said they intend to travel to Europe this summer, up from 1 in 4 at the beginning of the year. European travel sentiment is strongest among Millennials, with 46 percent of respondents aged 18-34 years indicating they intend to travel to Europe this summer. Top destinations for Millennials include France (38%), Italy (34%), the UK (24%) and Germany (23%). 

Another survey by Auto Europe suggests that travelers who do travel to Europe tend to be loyal. 40 percent of North Americans who plan to visit Europe in the next 12 months do so as part of an annual trip, according to the survey. 30 percent travel to Europe multiple times per year. The Auto Europe survey polled over 3,000 travelers intending to visit Europe. 

Infographic
Infographic and survey data provided by Auto Europe Car Rental.

Of those polled in the Auto Europe survey, the most popular destinations were those in Western Europe (53%), followed by the UK (20%). Most were traveling with family (74%) in a party of two to three people. 

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