Agents and tour operators expect the recovery of European tourism to begin in the first half of 2021.

Agents and tour operators expect the recovery of European tourism to begin in the first half of 2021.

The segments of nature, culture and wellness will be the first green shoots after COVID-19, according to a survey of more than 850 travel agents and tour operators in France, Italy and Spain conducted by the European tourism communication and marketing consultant, Interface Tourism.

European tour operators and agents consider that the continent’s internal tourism market, both as inbound and outbound, will resume their activities in the first half of 2021, according to the results of a survey carried out by the tourism communication and marketing consultant, Interface Tourism in France, Italy and Spain in which more than 850 European travel agents and tour operators participated.

In fact, nearly 60% of the respondents in Spain, 50% in France and 36% in Italy expect the European tourism market to operate normally again in the second quarter of 2021. Around 20% of the Spanish agents and 26% of the French place this phase in the first three months of 2021; while 35% of the Italians foresee that normality will not return to the sector until a vaccine is available.

The study analyses how and when the European tourists will travel again, by asking the professional opinion of a broad and representative section of European travel agents and tour operators. Agents were asked which the segments and experiences they believe will grow the fastest, as well as the foreseeable changes in the priorities and destinations of these continental travelers.

According to the insights provided by this survey, corporate travel, domestic holidays, and mid-haul will be the first segments to recover in Spain and Italy, although in France they are betting on travel to European destinations and French national territories for leisure. All three markets predict that the destinations that will experience the fastest recovery will be Italy, Spain, France, and Portugal.

As Gaël de la Porte du Theil, President of Interface Tourism Group, points out “In the case of long-haul travel, the key to recovery will depend on the capacity to offer nature, adventure, sun and beach experiences in exotic destinations, all of which formed part of the European travelers wish list, even before the pandemic”.

European destinations, the spearhead of recovery

Overall, agents and tour operators consider Europe to be the region that will recover first. In the case of Spain, agents expect Europe (33%) and Asia (30%) to lead the demand for international travel; whilst for the Italian market destinations from the India Ocean (45%), North America (17%) and the Middle East (14%) will be the first back on the travel agency shelves.  For the French market, Europe will concentrate 86% of the demand. “This prediction by the outbound travel industry responds to the type of trips that travelers are and will be booking in each market and shows the diverse interests of each of the analyzed countries”, says Gaël de la Porte du Theil.

As for product segments, among  Spanish travelers, once normality is restored, culture and heritage, nature, big cities, and wellness will be the most sought-after experiences, both in domestic and international travel. In France’s case, the tourists will mostly opt for nature-oriented destinations, as well as exotic and faraway places. In Italy, the preferences will be for natural environments, culturally motivated travel, or wellness.

On the other hand, the European travel intermediation expects to work in a scenario where travel budgets will be reduced by between 30% and 50%. “In this regard, it is essential to understand the priorities and conditions of travelers when they decide on the destinations to which they will travel, to offer alternatives that optimize spending and give certainty to tourists,” explains the President of Interface Tourism.

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as European agents and intermediaries point out, the aspects to which travelers will give the greatest importance and which will be key to boosting reservations in the short and medium term.

Comparte con el mundo:
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.Update my browser now