Pascal Prinz, chair of the European Travel Commission's Canadian chapter.
The most recent edition of the quarterly ‘European Tourism Trends & Prospects’ report from the European Travel Commission continues to monitor the COVID-19 impact on the sector, examining how travel activity is rebounding as the world learns to live with COVID-19.
The reports says consumer-led growth continues to drive travel recovery into 2022, with consumers keen to spend the savings accumulated throughout the pandemic.
Driven by strong domestic and intra-European travel, overall travel demand is projected to be 30% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022. While domestic travel is expected to recover entirely in 2022, international travel recovery is expected to be slower and not likely to surpass 2019 levels until 2025.
The latest ETC Long-Haul Travel Barometer, which surveys people in key markets, found that good flight connections between Canada and Europe are a key driver of positive sentiment about European travel, with younger generations most likely to travel long-haul during 2022 – 57% of 18-34 year-olds, 46% of 35-49 year-olds, and 32% of the 50+ age group.
“With the ease of restrictions across many European destinations, we are excited to welcome back avid Canadian travellers,” said Pascal Prinz, Chair of ETC’s Chapter in Canada. “Air bookings to Europe are strong and all major carriers are ramping up their transatlantic flight schedule, offering Canadians great deals and direct flights to experience Europe.”
The research found that Canadians desire multi-national itineraries that visit several European destinations. The variety of cycling routes in the region as well as rail and road trips also help drive sentiment for visiting Europe.
More than half (54%) of Canadian respondents shared an interest in visiting European metropolitan areas, with France, Italy, the UK, Germany and Switzerland on top of their destination wish list. Meanwhile, coastal and mountainous regions appear to be in equal demand among Canadians (both 27%).
COVID-19 concerns (48%) are the main deterrent to international travel for Canadians according to the research, with travel costs (12%) and restrictions at destinations (8%) also slightly above the combined average of long-haul markets.
Knowing that the country effectively handles the pandemic (30%), flexible cancellation policies (28%), fully lifted travel restrictions (27%), getting vaccinated for Covid-19 (25%) and appropriate health protocols that secure the safety of locals and travellers (23%) are the factors classified as most important for boosting Canadian travellers’ confidence.
With more travellers returning to Europe, the European Travel Commission (ETC) is reminding travel advisors of the available resources to support them.
To check for entry requirements for each country, advisors find the latest information at reopen.europa.eu and can also contact the National Tourist Board of the respective country.
For destination inspiration, advisors are encouraged to visit visiteurope.com.