Travel to Europe is making a comeback, as are prices and crowds
Despite the war in Ukraine and the continuing cloud of Covid-19 travel restrictions, it is clear that people are ready to travel once again within Europe and between EU countries, motivated by the fact that many many European countries have removed travel restrictions.
This means an increase in bookings as everyone hits the road again this spring and summer, with what The Huffington Post calls ‘revenge travel’ as people begin to act on the sense of wanderlust that has developed during the pandemic:
- The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) reported that in March 2022, US air travel to and from Europe was up 862% from March 2021. Paris was the fifth largest hub to serve US destinations after Cancun, London Heathrow, Toronto and Mexico City.
- Eurostat, an EU statistics provider, reported that EU commercial flights increased by 156% in March 2022 compared to March 2021, although this figure remains 27% lower than in March 2019, before the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, Eurostat also reported that domestic travel has flourished during the pandemic in the EU’s 27 nation states, while airlines have seen passenger numbers for overseas travel plummet.
- New research from the European Travel Commission (ETC) has reported a strong appetite for travel, with 3 in 4 Europeans planning to travel before September 2022, with more than half planning to visit another EU country (56%). For many, the Mediterranean is in their sights.
- Many EU countries are reporting a huge increase in bookings. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics reported an increase in tourist overnight stays in February – 226,000 arrivals and 570,000 tourist overnight stays, which is 121,000 tourist arrivals and 324,000 tourist overnight stays more than in February 2021. And Demoskopika, the Italian institute Tourism research reported that more than 92 million tourists are expected to vacation in Italy this year, a 35% increase from last year.
For many people looking for deals and good times to travel, the outlook is a bit bleaker. Axios reported that there is no more downtime for travel. People working less in the office, many more can travel at what used to be called “off-peak” hours. This is the “new reality as travel normalizes. There’s no downtime: flights are packed whether it’s 5am or 9pm, the crowds are wild and grumpy at all hours. »
Prices are also rising – Delta announced its best cash sales month ever in March 2022 and the problem is compounded by staff shortages, including a lack of pilots.