Who is longing to travel far away? Who finally wants to go
on a beach holiday again? Who is planning what trips to where this year? And
what is the short to long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel
behaviour? These are just some of the questions that ITB Berlin and the market
research institute Statista have been examining. A recent online surveyhas been
conducted in Germany, the US, and China investigating travel behaviour of the
past 12 months as well as travel plans for 2021.
People plan to spend
more on travel again in 2021 – the end of the pandemic will likely spur
The survey’s findings reflect a positive mood. Around 70 per
cent of those surveyed in Germany, the US and China are thinking about private
trips this year. Specifically, 37 per cent of Germans, 42 per cent of Americans
and 66 per cent of Chinese are planning one or more trips. Close to 25 per cent
of respondents in Germany and the US and over 35 per cent in China also believe
they will spend more money on travelling over the next 12 months than during
the same period to date. In China there also appears to be significant pent-up
demand for travel, where close to 50 per cent of interviewees think they travel
more on an ongoing basis once the coronavirus pandemic has passed, compared
with 25 per cent in the US and 17 per cent in Germany.
Personal safety is
very important on a private trip – well-being is more important than travel
The majority of people not planning to travel this year say
this is due to the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as no great surprise that the
pandemic still heavily influences holiday planning. However, it is worth noting
that perceived personal safety on a trip weighs more than travel choices being
restricted. 50 per cent of Germans not planning to travel in 2021 say they feel
uneasy about taking trips during the coronavirus pandemic. In the US the
corresponding figure is 34 per cent, and in China even 56 per cent. By
comparison, only 23 per cent of German respondents, 21 per cent of Americans
and 45 per cent of Chinese state travel restrictions as their reason for
staying at home. Thus, tour operators this year face the challenge of
instilling a sense of safety and well-being among their customers.
Beach holidays are
popular in every country – for Germans and Americans visiting family and
friends is most important – Chinese prefer city breaks
A closer look at people’s travel plans in 2021 shows a
preference for beach holidays in all countries, with 34 per cent of Germans, 36
per cent of Americans and 42 per cent of Chinese taking them into
consideration. However, for 37 and 42 per cent of Germans and Americans
respectively, visiting family and friends comes first, whereas for 49 per cent
of Chinese city breaks are most important. The majority of respondents in all
countries plan to stay in hotels, although the figures vary significantly from
country to country. In China 86 per cent of private travellers intend to stay
in hotels, whereas in the US and Germany the proportion is much lower, at 56
and 42 per cent respectively. In Germany and the US close to one-third of
prospective travellers in 2021 intend to stay overnight with family or friends.
In China, the corresponding figure is only 16 per cent. It is presumed that
among other things the living conditions in the respective countries are
responsible for these variations.
Holidaying at home –
Germans also plan to take trips abroad
Questioned as to their long-term plans for the future, 35
per cent of German respondents, 38 per cent of Americans and 50 per cent of
Chinese believe their travel behaviour will change long-term. The reasons given
were environmental considerations (47 per cent in China) and the coronavirus
pandemic (83 per cent in Germany, 64 per cent in the US, 83 per cent China).
Among those who say their travel behaviour will change in the long run, 76 per
cent of Germans, 77 per cent of Americans and 88 per cent of Chinese agree with
the statement “I will take more vacation in my country.“ This trend also
applies to destination planning in 2021. In China and the US only 29 and 15 per
cent respectively of those planning trips are aiming to go abroad. The figure
for Germany is significantly higher, at 61 per cent. It is presumed that
Germany’s location in the middle of Europe and proximity to many other
countries is responsible for the higher number of international trips planned.
Fewer business trips
planned for 2021 – outdoor activities are becoming more popular
In addition to their private travel plans interviewees were
asked about possible business trips. In contrast with private trips, the
findings on business travel point to a downward trend. In Germany only 27 per
cent, in the US 34 per cent and in China 51 per cent of respondents are
planning business trips in 2021. This is also reflected in the answer to a
question on long-term changes in travel behaviour. A high proportion in all
cases, namely 65 per cent of Germans, 66 per cent of Americans and 63 per cent
of Chinese interviewees agree with the statement “I will take fewer business
trips.“ Outdoor activities appear to be on the rise, with 61 per cent of
Germans, 68 per cent of Americans and as many as 91 per cent of Chinese
respondents agreeing with the statement “I will take more nature/outdoor
Established in Germany in 2007, Statista has around 900
employees at 12 locations on four continents. Statista is a leading data and
business intelligence platform and provides international market and consumer
surveys. Statista’s Research & Analysis division augments the platform’s
services by providing individual market research, data research, data analyses
and modelling, as well as graphic data visualisation.
About ITB Berlin NOW
and the ITB Berlin NOW Convention
ITB Berlin NOW will take place from Tuesday, 9 to Friday, 12
March for trade visitors only and as an entirely virtual event. ITB Berlin is
the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. As part of ITB Berlin NOW, the ITB
Berlin NOW Convention, the largest travel industry event of its kind, will also
take place as a virtual event. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is
the co-host, Mascontour Track is the sponsor of the ITB Future Track, Google
and Lufthansa are track sponsors of the ITB Marketing & Distribution Track,
the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the ITB
Sustainability Track partner, SIO AG is
the track sponsor of the eTravel DATA TALKS and Studiosus is the session
sponsor. For exhibitors, trade visitors and the media, participation in the ITB
Berlin NOW Convention is included in the price of a ticket. Additional
information is available at www.itb.com/now and from the ITB Social Media
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