The European Travel Commission (ETC) has released new research showing that the majority of European plans to travel within the next six months.

The ETC said that the Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 11 report showed that “the desire across Europe for intra-European travel is undoubtedly strong”, with 77 per cent of Europeans having travel plans between April and September 2022.

Over half of respondents (56 per cent) intend to visit another European country, with those from Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK, and Germany showing the strongest optimism about taking a trip.

Travel intentions also increase with age, with 69 per cent of 18-24 year olds planning to travel, rising to 83 per cent for those over 54 years in age.

Spain is the most favoured destination among Europeans travelling abroad this spring and summer, followed by Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.

The ETC also said that the survey (conducted during the first weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine) showed that Europeans’ travel sentiment and behaviour have not yet been affected by the conflict.

Interest in Eastern European destinations is “unaltered”, reflecting “the limited impact of the ongoing conflict on intra-European travel to date”.

The research also showed that flexibility in cancellation policies and freedom from restrictions are now the top factors boosting respondents’ confidence in planning their next trip within Europe, with vaccination falling to third place “since most Europeans have already taken this precaution”.

Commenting on the news the ETC’s president Luis Araujo said:

“Our report demonstrates that European confidence in travelling is growing now that Covid

“-19 has largely become a fact of life. New uncertainties on the horizon, namely the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the rising cost of living, are presenting challenges for the travel sector.

“However, ETC is pleased to see that in spite of these uncertainties, appetite for travel is still on the rise and the European tourism sector remains resilient.”

Recent research from the World Travel and Tourism Council showed that UK inbound flight bookings are still 45 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

WTTC: UK inbound flight bookings still 45 per cent below pre-pandemic levels