According to the latest “Long-distance Travel Barometer” — The Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB), which provides insight into traveler sentiment for the summer months of 2022, demand for travel to Europe from key overseas markets remains below pre-pandemic levels. It has only slightly improved compared to last year.
While the events in Ukraine have created new challenges for European tourism, they appear to have a limited impact on most outlying markets, with the exception of China and Russia. At the same time, the majority of respondents — 76% — stated that the conflict did not affect their intentions to travel. The results show that COVID-19 concerns, travel-related costs and lack of convenient connections are the main deterrents to long-distance travel this summer.
The conflict has been the biggest influence on outbound sentiment travels from Russia and China.
Due to the ongoing operation in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on Russia, the desire of Russian travelers to visit Europe has reached the lowest level on record — only 78 points on the “Barometer”. This is significantly lower than during the first wave of COVID-19 — 87 points in May-August 2020, when strict quarantines were introduced in most European countries.
In the short term, more than half of Russians surveyed— about 60% — do not plan to travel outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Among the 20% of Russians who plan to travel but not to Europe, 9% said that the current situation has negatively affected their interest in visiting European countries in the coming months, while 7% still consider the region an attractive destination and would like to would visit in the future.
19% Chinesetravelers who are generally risk averse will also refrain from visiting Europe. However, for other reasons. Recent outbreaks of Omicron and strict restrictions prevent outbound travel. However, tourist sentiment for visiting Europe is slightly up (plus 6 points) compared to last summer. This figure could improve further towards the end of the year, when China is expected to lift restrictions on international tourism.
June and August are likely to be the most popular months for Americansplanning a holiday in Europe. However, more than half of the US residents who announced their intention to go across the ocean this summer have not yet booked plane tickets. That is, last minute bookings will become a significant factor in this market due to economic and geopolitical uncertainty.
Canadians are also hesitant about specific vacation dates in Europe: only 30% have booked plane tickets for the summer of 2022. Canadian respondents would like to visit seaside resorts and capital cities, with France, Italy and the UK being the most popular destinations.
Japanese enthusiasm for long-distance travel remains low — 79 points. Only 14% of respondents are planning to travel to Europe in the summer of 2022. 41% of respondents cite poor transport links between Europe and Japan as the main reason for abandoning their original plans. This could be expected after the cancellation of many flights from east to west due to the ban on the use of Russian airspace. Those who fly prefer Italy, France, Germany and Great Britain.