Some 80 per cent of Europeans continue to travel for their holidays in 2010 according to a new Eurobarometer survey on “The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism 2010”. Only 20 per cent of over 30,000 randomly selected citizens were almost certain that they will not travel in 2010, which is significantly below the proportion of non-travellers in 2009 (33 per cent).
EU citizens increasingly prefer to spend their holidays in traditional tourist destinations (57 per cent), while 28 per cent would rather go “off the beaten track” to emerging destinations, according to the survey.
The survey was conducted in February 2010 when over 30,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The most important findings are:
• Continuing trend towards discovering Europe and own country: again in 2010, 50 per cent of Europeans intend to spend their holidays in their own country or in another EU country.
• More confidence to be able to finance their holidays: about half of EU citizens who are planning to take a holiday in 2010 felt they will have sufficient funds (46 per cent) - this is 5 percentage points higher than in 2009. However, as in 2009, 10 per cent said they have serious financial problems that could impact their holiday plans.
• Travelling remains popular: about two-thirds (65 per cent) of EU citizens travelled for leisure in 2009, and travelling is most popular amongst residents of Norway (84 per cent) followed by Finland (83 per cent), The Netherlands (79 per cent) and Ireland (78 per cent).
• "Local attractiveness" is cited as the major factor (32 per cent) when choosing holiday destinations, followed by "cultural heritage" (25 per cent) and "entertainment possibilities" (16 per cent).
• Seeking "rest and recreation" (37 per cent) is the main motivation for EU citizens to travel, followed by "sun and beach" (19 per cent) and "visiting friends and relatives" (17 per cent).
• Arranging holidays themselves: the number of EU citizens who organise their main holiday themselves further increased in 2009 to 58 per cent; Candidate Countries Croatia (83 per cent) and Turkey (82 per cent) lead in this respect.
• The most popular choices: Spain (10.4 per cent) was already the most popular destination in 2008 and 2009 and dominates also the current plans made for 2010. It is closely followed by France (9.9 per cent) and Italy (9.2 per cent). However, 17 per cent of EU residents planning to go on holiday in 2010 have not yet decided on the destination.
In 17 countries, out of 32 countries covered by the survey, one of the top three destinations is outside the European Union. Croatia has been cited among top three destinations in seven countries in this survey: Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. Slovenians consider Croatia the most desirable destination with 30 per cent of them planning to visit the country this year.
When it comes to Croatians, 78 per cent of them are planning to take holiday trips in their home country, with 3 per cent of them planning holidays in Italy and 2 per cent in Spain.