Travelers Prioritize Safety and Quality for European Summer Trips

Travelers Prioritize Safety and Quality for European Summer Trips

Interest in summer travel to Europe is growing again among key international markets, according to the latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer (LHTB) 2/2024.

The study, published by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail BV, surveyed 7,000 travelers from seven major overseas markets.

Interest in summer 2024 overseas trips up 9%

Compared to 2019, 59% of people are interested in traveling overseas for summer 2024, which is a 9% increase.

Although Europe’s popularity is growing more slowly due to concerns about safety and cost, it is still a top destination, with 41% planning to visit, down 4% from 2019.

China and Brazil have the highest interest in visiting Europe this summer, with 62% and 52% of people planning to go, mostly wealthy individuals.

The US and Canada are more cautious, with 40% and 42% showing interest.

Australia and South Korea have moderate interest at 37% and 35%, while Japan is lower at 19% because its travel recovery is slower.

In all markets, younger travelers and those with higher incomes are the most interested in trips to Europe.

Safety top priority for travelers

Safety is the most important factor for long-distance travelers choosing a European destination this summer, with 45% prioritizing security, a 9% increase from summer 2022. 

The quality of tourism infrastructure is the second most important at 38%, followed by famous landmarks at 36%, which is up 7% from summer 2023.

Stable weather is a new priority for 31% of travelers. Convenience also matters, with 20% preferring destinations reachable by direct flights and another 20% favoring places with good train connections. 

Although affordability is still a factor for 23%, it has decreased from 32% last year, showing that people are now more focused on quality and safety rather than sticking to strict budgets.

Multi-country European itineraries preferred

The report stated that 67% of long-distance travelers are choosing multi-country trips in Europe.

Full-service airlines are the top choice for 51%, followed by train passes at 30% for their flexibility and cost-effectiveness across multiple destinations.

Moreover, 21% plan to visit one country in-depth, with single/return train tickets being the most popular for domestic trips at 32%, offering convenience for short to medium distances.

Car rentals appeal to 29% of travelers seeking more freedom.

Travelers are increasingly interested in immersive experiences and longer holidays.

Mid-range daily budgets (€100-€200) have become 8% more popular since 2019, and trips lasting more than two weeks have increased from 13% in 2019 to 21% in 2024.

Off-peak travel gains popularity

According to the study, 53% of people are willing to travel during less busy times to save money and have more personal experiences at famous attractions. However, many still choose destinations they are familiar with.

Meanwhile, 61% prefer places with good infrastructure and famous attractions, while 39% are interested in exploring lesser-known spots.

Half of the travelers want to support local businesses, while the other half prefer familiar hotel, restaurant, and shopping brands.

Staying updated on Europe entry requirements

As interest in European travel increases, visitors should stay informed about new entry requirements, such as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

Starting in mid-2025, ETIAS will screen travelers from countries that do not need Schengen visas to enhance security in the Schengen Area.

Long-term travelers, including families, investors, digital nomads, and students, should learn about the specific visa requirements for their stays.

While ETIAS covers short-term visits, those planning longer stays or relocation may need to apply for the appropriate visas or permits.

Europe ready for tourism surge

As global travel improves, Europe is ready to welcome more international visitors looking for safe, high-quality experiences.

The trend toward longer stays and off-season travel helps spread tourism throughout the year, easing the pressure on busy times and supporting local economies.

By focusing on safety, good infrastructure, and unique attractions, European destinations can meet the changing preferences of long-distance travelers while promoting responsible and sustainable tourism.

As the world adjusts after the pandemic, the European tourism industry can create meaningful connections between travelers and local communities, contributing to a stronger and more inclusive future for global tourism.