What are European Travellers thinking right now?

Which country in Europe is most resilient to health and safety issues? Education or economy, which has more impact on attitudes to sustainable travel? Where are online travel agencies positioned today in the sales funnels of France and Germany?

Seen on a map, Europe is a relatively compact area but it accounts for almost half of the world’s outbound travel. For travel marketing professionals, Europe is like a vault in a bank, everyone knows it is where the money is, but few can crack the complex combination required to open the door. They may be geographically close, but with different languages, cultures, economies, politics, currencies, etc. no two European markets are the same and there is no chance of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing to European travellers. 

The consumer is front and centre of any marketing strategy and an understanding of the behaviour and the mindset of each traveller is the foundation on which any tourism destination or travel company should build their marketing plan. Travellyze is the key to unlock the qualitative traveller insights and with them the European market. It is an innovative data analytics platform capable of analysing 5.7 million pieces of data to understand what different European travellers (segmented by any combination of demography, product interest, consumer or travel behaviour), are really thinking and how to influence their travel decisions. The latest wave of surveys in UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Netherlands was conducted just weeks ago and now uploaded into the platform can shed light on European attitudes to travel in the critical coming months.

As destinations and travel brands plan their recovery for the pandemic, nothing can be taken for granted and deep insights into traveller perception, intent, concerns and behaviour are more important than ever. Quantitative dynamic data can tell us what is happening but to influence the higher end of the funnel and inspire Europeans to travel again it is key to understand why it is happening and to do this we need to know what travellers are thinking, even feeling. The only way to know what somebody is thinking/feeling is to ask them so this is what we do and some of the answers illustrate how nuanced the European travel market is.

More than 60% of Spanish and Danish tourists consider meeting people an important factor when choosing their holiday destination compared to 49% of Dutch travellers. Knowing this can help a destination optimize a pan-European campaign by making subtle changes in their targeting, messages and even imagery.

18% of Danish tourists still book through traditional travel agencies, either in person or by telephone. Germans and Italians also frequently opt for offline booking despite researching and planning online, on YouTube in the case of Germans with Trip Advisor or metasearch being favoured by Italians .

So should we do all our European marketing online? Well, not if you want to maximize impact in each market because print media remains the fourth most popular source of inspiration for Italian tourists when choosing their next holiday destination, way ahead of Facebook in 8th position and Instagram in 11th. This also varies according to holiday type and the written press is the queen of inspiration for a third of Italian tourists who flee from overcrowded destinations and seek to enjoy the so-called ‘slow tourism’. 

The UK is still the number one source market for Spain and the efforts of the Spanish market to promote a more sustainable British tourist are starting to work. 15% of British tourists attach great importance to learning or developing a skill (e.g. language, cooking, etc.) on their trips. And Spain is also the most popular destination for this kind of holiday.

Film and TV are becoming increasing effective in inspiring travel and Spain particularly has been working closely with Netflix to attract the one in five European tourists who are inspired by film when choosing their next destination.  Film and TV is particularly effective for the British and the Finns and less so for the French as only 10% of French tourists say TV or movies inspired their destination choice.

Talking of film and TV, the recent popularity culinary TV programs in Europe may be behind the increasing number of European travellers who travel in search of different gastronomic experiences. In Germany over 29.8% of tourists consider fine dining an important factor when choosing a destination, (rising to 33% of those over 50 years of age).

Sustainability is increasingly high on the agenda and is a travel factor that is clearly affected by demographics of age (the younger the more concerned) sex (more females than males) and  education (50% of European travellers who have a Master’s degree travel say that sustainability and environmental concerns are important when choosing a destination).

These are just a few of the insights to illustrate the importance of data driven strategic planning and how new traveller profiling technology is helping marketing professionals optimise their promotional efforts in each segment and each country in Europe.


For further information and access to Travellyze’s 5.7 million data points on European travellers visit www.travellyze.com