European Summer Travel Heats Up

Planning for summer travel to Europe is already taking off this spring.

April 11, 2022


We are only a few weeks into spring, but planning for summer travel to Europe is already taking off. With more and more travel restrictions being lifted, travellers are eager to make the most of their summer holidays. Here is a snapshot of what we are seeing for summer travel to European destinations.

Summer Travel Planning to Europe Already Underway

We are seeing that travel intent to Europe is significantly higher than last year, with year-over-year flight searches being well over 200% what they were at this time in 2021. Of particular note, we see that travel intent from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand, primarily) is over 2000% higher than this time last year. This is in part due to the fact that so much of that region was under heavier travel restrictions than at present, and travel to Europe from Oceania was far more difficult.

International and Regional Travel Will Start to Recover

During the pandemic, summer travel became much more domestic in nature. In 2020 and 2021, nearly two-thirds of European summer travel was domestic. Pricey pre-travel Covid testing and changing restrictions when travelling into other countries made domestic travel the easier and preferred option. As of late March, we see increases in travel within Europe and from further afield. 

Travel Marketing Tip: Travellers are looking to make the most of this upcoming summer travel season, and they are actively in the market for their next holiday now. Don’t wait! It’s time to refresh those creatives and get your summer campaigns organised as soon as possible.

A View of the Top Destinations for Summer Travel to Europe

Spain remains in top spot amongst Europeans, with nearly a quarter of current summer travel planners looking to travel there. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is very little change between 2021 and 2022’s top destinations for European travellers, and they are dominated by Southern European countries. With warm climates, hundreds of beaches, and stunning cities, these countries are dependable top destinations for Europeans.

While Italy took top spot in 2021, the UK has surged ahead in terms of demand for North American travellers. Nearly a quarter of North American travel intent so far is focussed on the UK. This will be a big summer for the UK, as the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, with activities planned for early June and throughout the summer.

Interestingly, we saw several Eastern European countries take the top spot for Middle Eastern travellers last summer. In particular, Ukraine was the top destination in 2021 for Middle East travellers. This is likely due to the fact that in 2021, many travellers had to spend time in Eastern Europe first before travelling elsewhere due to Covid restrictions. Because of this, as well as the situation in Ukraine, we see that Western Europe is favoured by Middle Eastern travellers, with France taking top spot.

Travel Marketing Tip: Destination marketers take note. There is still time to win market share, so consider who you are targeting in your upcoming campaigns, and the messaging you are tailoring for each audience. One of the best ways to raise the profile of your destination is with engaging video assets. Find out how we partnered with the Polish Tourism Organisation to raise awareness of Poland as a destination, using captivating video.

For more summer insights, remember to check out our Travel Insights Dashboard.

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