Despite rising household expenses, nearly 60 percent of European travelers won’t cut back on traveling or spending on trips in the next six months, according to a survey by the European Travel Commission.

The commission surveyed over 6,000 European travelers in December 2022 who took at least 2 overnight trips during the last three years.

Europeans are worried about their rising living expenses, but they are not cutting back their spending. Even as energy costs and basic necessities rise, travel is the only discretionary expense people are determined to keep, according to the European Travel Commission. About 59 percent plan to spend the same on travel as last year in the first half of 2023 (below).

Plans to SpendMoreSameLessNone
Personal Care8%49%32%11%
Leisure Activities9%47%40%5%
Energy & Fuel30%45%23%3%
Source: European Travel Commission

Nearly 40 percent plan to spend 4 to 6 nights at a destination, up 6 percent from a year ago. Between 500 and 1,500 euros is the most common allocated budget.

It also seems higher airfares also won’t stop travelers from flying. Around 54 percent of travelers still plan to fly, up 10 percent for the same period last year. A Skift megatrend for 2023 is that airlines will have an easy time generating revenue from higher airfares. 

At destinations, however, travelers will reallocate their spending. Nearly 20 percent will reduce their shopping, 16 percent will book cheaper accommodation and 15 percent will pay for self-catering or less pricey restaurants, according to the European Travel Commission.

About 58 percent of European travelers plan to take multiple trips and 75 percent plan to take at least one trip before June 2023. In fact, 44 percent of European travelers have fully or partly booked their upcoming trip, a 7 percent year over year increase. 

In addition, Europeans are determined to cross borders for their trips in 2023. Visiting another country is the preferred choice of 63 percent of European travelers, up 13 percent from last year. Interest in domestic tourism dropped to 25 percent— its lowest level since August 2020.

About 72 percent of Europeans will travel for leisure, while 15 percent will visit friends or relatives, 7 percent will attend an event and 5 percent will take a business trip.

Tags: economy, europe, european travel, european travel commission, travel spending