LAURIE BARATTI | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren for CNT #Travel
As the world begins speculating about how COVID-19’s new Omicron variantwill impact upcoming travel plans, specialty insurance and assistance company Allianz Partners reveals the results of the first edition of its International Vacation Confidence Index. Its findings indicate that the majority of European and American vacationers still intend to travel this winter, with more than half of all respondents in each of the nine countries surveyed planning to travel.
It’s worth noting that, while people clearly intend on traveling this winter, they’re primarily looking to do so domestically. Fifty-seven percent of Americans, 65 percent of Italians, 63 percent of Spaniards and 42 percent of French residents plan on eschewing international travel, and instead sticking to taking trips within their own country. The intranational trend implies that prospective holidaymakers are approaching any return to international travel this winter with a degree of caution.
Top Trends From the Survey
—Spaniards (78 percent), Italians (77 percent) and Americans (68 percent) hold the strongest travel intentions and are most likely to consider winter travel important.
—The French (51 percent) are the least likely to have winter vacation plans this year, followed by the Germans (57 percent) and the Dutch (59 percent).
—Britons’ winter travel planning falls somewhere in the middle, as 44 percent are sticking with domestic trips, but they demonstrate a stronger preference for foreign travel (25 percent), compared with the French (15 percent) and the Americans (18 percent).
—The Swiss and the Dutch reported having the highest rate of foreign travel plans, at 38 percent and 31 percent respectively.
Differing Degrees of Importance
When it comes to the importance of winter travel to residents in each of these countries, the survey discovered that winter getaways carry the most weight with Spaniards (73 percent), Italians (64 percent) and Americans (69 percent). The United Kingdom (U.K.) is the only other country in which a majority of people feel that winter vacations are important (58 percent), while that figure falls to less than half among the Swiss (49 percent), Germans (48 percent), Austrians (46 percent), Dutch (45 percent) and the French (42 percent).
Winter Travel Budgets Vary
In terms of spending on winter vacations, Americans lead the pack with an average budget of $3,382, at least part of which can be attributed to transportation costs, as gas prices continue to rise and international travel mostly requires flying. The U.K. comes in second with an average budget of $2,126, while winter travel budgets are lower in places like Spain ($1,053) and Italy ($864), where costs are generally lower, and travel by train or car is more practical.
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