Increased desire to travel despite high inflation

Increased desire to travel despite high inflation
Many Austrians are drawn to the sea again this year.
Photo: (Volker Weihbold)

After three years of the pandemic, the need to travel is strong despite extremely high inflation, as a survey by the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems on behalf of the tourism association Corps Touristique shows. 87 percent want to travel this year, 72 percent of them also abroad – preferably in their own car (68 percent) or by plane (57 percent). 28 percent take the train. Abroad, it usually goes to Italy, Croatia, Greece, Germany or Spain.

In general, holidays in Austria have predominated in the main trip since the time before the pandemic – according to the information, a little over 50 percent have consistently opted for domestic trips.

Overall, according to the survey, concerns related to the corona crisis have fallen massively. However, the provision of free hand disinfection options, information on Covid regulations and hygiene labels are measures that Austrian travelers still want in the destinations. 15 percent are not yet able to travel because of Corona – although the measures in Europe have now been reduced.

The main concerns and fears when planning a trip relate primarily to the current geopolitical and economic situation, rising inflation and energy prices, and concerns about political stability and safety at the holiday destination.

For those who do not want to or cannot travel in 2023, the majority (49 percent) named “financial reasons”. Far behind are those who are “spontaneous/uncertain” (17 percent) or who said they were “not interested” or “no time” (12.5 percent). 7.5 percent do not travel for health reasons.

3000 euros travel budget

According to the information, the most important booking channels for trips abroad are still online platforms (56 percent) and directly with the provider (45 percent). Booking.com is the most frequently used booking platform at 92 percent. Behind them are Trivago and Tripadvisor with 25 and 15 percent respectively. A good third of those surveyed (36 percent) book in person at a travel agency, a quarter (26 percent) at an online travel agency and a fifth (20 percent) at retail chains.

Both the estimated total travel budget and the travel budget for the main trip of the respondents increased slightly compared to the previous year. In 2023, a median of 3,000 euros per household is planned for all private trips abroad.

In detail: 26 percent spend 1,000 to 2,000 euros, around 21 percent 2,000 to 3,000 euros, 17 percent up to 1,000 euros and 14 percent over 5,000 euros. 11 percent each spend 3,000 to 4,000 or 4,000 to 5,000 euros.

Beach vacations most popular in summer

The most popular travel month for private trips abroad is September (44 percent), followed by August (39 percent), June (38 percent) and July (36 percent). The weakest are January (just under 5 percent), November (9 percent) and December (almost 10 percent). In 2023, the planned trips will focus on the summer, with trips in April and especially May increasing in popularity, according to the information.

The most popular type of vacation abroad for Austrians is still a trip to the beach or bathing, followed by city breaks, wellness and culture.

The most important criteria for choosing a travel destination are cleanliness and hygiene, good value for money, friendliness, safety, weather and climate.

Sustainability is becoming more important

The topic of sustainability has gained in importance compared to five to ten years ago. Above all, holidaymakers appreciate regional and seasonally adapted cuisine, waste separation and recycling, as well as the careful use of the natural resources of the holiday destination.

The survey was conducted in January this year with a sample of 1,400 adults in Austria. The range of fluctuation is plus/minus 2.6 percent. Corps Touristique is the association of international and national tourism organizations and agencies responsible for the Austrian market.

The survey shows that the need to travel in general and abroad in particular has continued to increase. In contrast to previous years, the corona crisis plays a less important role. Instead, Austrians worry about the affordability of the trip.

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