Britons have been named the “technophiles of Europe” with almost three quarters organising their holidays online, according the results of a new study by Europ Assistance Group.
A poll of 3,500 people that was conducted across the UK, France, Germany. Italy, Spain, Belgium and Austria, found increasing use of smartphones, with one in four owning a mobile device.
The study suggested 57% of European travellers use the internet to make holiday bookings, up from 28% in 2005. The British remained the most technophile with 71% of them researching or booking their holidays online.
While 57% claim to use smartphones less on holiday than during the rest of the year, a third of Europeans would find it useful to have access to practical information during their stay. And more than half (52%) would find it helpful to be able to consult a list of useful numbers during their trip.
Despite the recent financial crisis, overall findings suggest that Europeans are keeping their holidays, and more of them want to go away this summer (66%).
After two years of crisis, and despite an unfavourable economic context in 2011, once again 66% of Europeans claim that they will go on holiday this year (+2 points compared to 2010 and 2009), catching up with the pre-crisis level when 67% of them were planning summer holidays.
In terms of destination, Europe is still preferred by 8 Europeans out of 10, and the success of national tourism continues: 47% of Europeans will remain in their native country.
This proportion is even greater in countries enjoying a favourable climate, and following the sun is a decisive factor in the choice of destination. Hence, in Italy, France and Spain, 6 to 7 travellers out of 10 will stay at home. Rest and peace of mind are still the absolute priorities for Europeans, a trend that has been confirmed since 2009. 61% of them now make rest their main goal for these summer holidays, whereas a desire for “discovery” affects only 38% of them (a figure that has been stable since 2008).
In response to this quest for tranquillity, the seaside is preferred by the vast majority of Europeans (65%). With 2,145€, the average budget devoted to holidays is also progressing across Europe (+62€ and +3% c.f. 2010) This increase can mainly be felt in Italy (+112€), Belgium (+280€) and particularly Germany (+287€).
Europeans continue to pay attention to their holiday spending: 81% consider the “budget” criterion to be important or even essential in the choice of destination.… But Europeans are adopting new types of behaviour and are organising themselves differently Europeans are not giving up on their holidays. But they are adapting to the situation by leaving for a shorter period and several times over.
Two-week stays are still favoured (39% of Europeans will leave for a fortnight) but their proportion is diminishing. In France and the UK, only one-week stays are on the rise in 2011. The crisis has accentuated the lasting adoption of new types of behaviour. Nowadays, holidays are organised in advance, and independently: 71% of Europeans started to prepare their holidays ahead of time, and the same figure organise themselves by buying separate services.