New Market Study: Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tourism

The Flash Eurobarometer “Survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism”(No 328) has been conducted between 24 and 28 February, 2011. Over 30,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States, Croatia, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway and Iceland.

The objectives of the survey were to study:

• respondents’ travel profiles in 2010

• the reasons why respondents did not go on holiday in 2010

• the characteristics of citizens’ main holiday trip in 2010

• the financial aspects of taking a holiday

• various attitudes of citizens towards tourism

• respondents’ vacation plans for 2011

Main Findings and Trends

Almost three-quarters (73%) of EU citizens said they had travelled, either for business or private purposes, at least once in 2010; 32% had made at least one holiday trip and at least one “short private” trip, 24% had made at least one holiday trip but no “short private” trips and 12% had made at least one “short private” trip but no holiday trips. Slightly less than 3 in 10 (29%) EU citizens had not travelled for leisure purposes in 2010.

Across almost all countries included in this survey, the largest proportion of respondents – who had not taken a holiday in 2010 – said this was because of financial reasons; such reasons were cited by more than 6 in 10 respondents in Hungary (68%), Bulgaria (65%) and Romania (62%).
Financial aspects

When asked which holiday leisure activities EU  citizens would give up first if savings were needed while they were actually on holiday, the largest proportions of interviewees selected “beauty or wellness treatments” (27%; + 3 percentage points compared to 2009) and shopping (21%; unchanged compared to 2009)

Holiday focus and attraction

The largest proportion of holidaymakers across the EU (36%) said that the major motivation for their main holiday in 2010 had been “rest and recreation”. Just under one in five (18%) had wanted a sun/beach holiday and 17% said the main objective had been to visit friends or relative.

In almost all countries surveyed, respondents who preferred to spend their holidays in “traditional” tourist destinations outnumbered those who favoured visiting “alternative or emerging” destinations. Countries with a high proportion of respondents who preferred “emerging” tourist destinations were Iceland (43%), Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (both 44%).

When deciding on a holiday destination, the largest proportions (32%) of EU citizens named the location’s environment (e.g. its overall attractiveness) as the key consideration. Cultural heritage (27%) and options for entertainment (14%) were the second and third most widespread responses in regard to factors that influenced a choice of destination.

Holiday Planning

As in previous waves, the largest difference  in terms of information sources when comparing respondents with a preference for “off the beaten track” holidays and those who preferred more “traditional” holiday destinations was seen when looking at the importance of the Internet: 54% of the former respondents said that the Internet  was an important source of information when planning a holiday compared to 42% of the latter.

Vacation plans for 2011

When asked about their holiday destination in 2011, almost 4 in 10 (38%) EU citizens answered that they were planning a holiday in their home country. One in five interviewees said they were planning to take a holiday within the EU and a somewhat lower proportion (16%) indicated that a non-EU country would be their main holiday destination in 2011.

In 15 countries, a majority of these respondents were planning to spend their holiday in their own country; the highest shares were found in Turkey (88%), Croatia (86%), Greece (85%) and Bulgaria (82%). In nine countries, the largest proportion of respondents, who were planning a holiday in 2011, had chosen a destination elsewhere in the EU; respondents in Luxembourg were the most likely to have made such a choice (62%). Finally, in two countries, about half of respondents were planning a holiday outside the EU: Slovenia (51%) and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (50%).

Find the full Report

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