The tourism industry’s “robust and resilient” performance in 2012 is expected to continue in 2013, according to the results of a survey by European Union statistics office Eurostat.
“The tourism sector is one of the few sectors that have continued to grow and create jobs, despite the crisis,” a March 6 2013 statement on the findings of the survey said.
Seven out of 10 Europeans travelled in 2012, the same proportion as in 2011, according to the statement. And of EU holiday makers, as many as 88 per cent spent their vacations somewhere within the EU, either in their own country or in another EU country. The industry’s robust and resilient performance is expected to continue in 2013: three quarters of respondents to a recent EU survey (75 per cent) are planning to go on holiday this year, although 34 per cent will adapt their holiday plans to take the economic situation into account. Holiday plans for 2013 closely resembled the destinations chosen in 2012. Spain (12 per cent), Italy (eight per cent) and France (seven per cent) are still the most preferred destinations, and 51 per cent plan to take a holiday in their own country.
The latest Flash Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism also explores the motivations for going on holiday, how holidays were arranged, holiday satisfaction and the plans for the future.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “With 75 per cent of Europeans planning to go on vacation in 2013 the outlook of the sector’s contribution to the economy is very promising. This is good news, as this important sector with its many small enterprises can send a strong signal to other industry sectors that we can get out of the economic crisis.”
The Eurostat survey found that:
• 71 per cent of Europeans travelled for work or private reasons in 2012. Tourism remained stable compared to last year’s survey. A socio-demographic analysis reveals that a majority of respondents who travelled are aged 15-39, or have a high level of education, or live in a large town.
• Europeans who did not travel in 2012 mostly cited financial reasons for not taking a holiday (46 per cent). This is consistent with the results from the previous year (45 per cent). Respondents who did not travel in 2012 are more likely to be aged 55+, are manual workers, unemployed, or live in a single person household.
• 88 per cent of EU respondents who travelled for a personal holiday of at least four nights went somewhere within the EU.
• Spending time in the sunshine or at the beach was the main reason for a holiday of at least four consecutive nights in 2012 (40 per cent), closely followed by visiting family, friends or relatives (36 per cent).
• Spain was the most popular destination for EU holiday makers in 2012 (10 per cent), followed by Italy and France (both 8 per cent). Croatia was also among the preferred destinations in 2012 (3 per cent).
• A large proportion of EU respondents (58 per cent) spent their holidays in their own country, a similar result to that of the 2011 survey (56 per cent). Domestic holidays were most common in Greece (87 per cent), Italy (80 per cent), Bulgaria (79 per cent) Spain (73 per cent), and Croatia (74 per cent).
• Staying in paid accommodation or staying with friends or relatives also increased in popularity compared to 2011.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)