It’s more than a possibility that Americans will be able to travel to Europe in the near future, with countries like Greece and France to start lifting travel bans for travelers this month, while the European Union is looking to welcome fully vaccinated travelers into Europe later this summer.
While this good news circulates the globe, a new survey from smarTours found that Europe is the most desired destination American travelers want to visit this year. More than 40 percent polled that they’d choose Europe, while only seven percent wanted to travel domestically.
Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed are ready to travel this year, while 57 percent said they would love to cross off a bucket list-type destination the next time they travel. Exploration and socialization are the main things travelers want to do on their next vacations, instead of taking the beach trips that were so popular earlier this year. Thirty-five percent want their next vacation to be with their friends.
Two travel advisors have noticed this burgeoning interest in European travel. David W. Hartman, Luxury Travel Advisor for Fantastic Endeavors, Inc. believes pent-up demand and the recent news are two of the main factors driving this interest. He sees Italy as the most popular destination among his clients. Their main concerns, though, are missing out on iconic landmarks due to venue closures and local travel restrictions.
He offers this piece of advice: “Travelers to Europe this summer may experience issues with limited flights, high airfares and restrictions with travel to select countries and destinations. For example, Munich recently canceled Oktoberfest 2021 for several reasons related to the phased reopening of Germany. Numerous clients are rescheduling to summer 2022 due to these reasons, including a group that booked Oktoberfest 2020, rescheduled to 2021 and now booked Oktoberfest 2022.”
Claire Schoeder, Luxury Travel Consultant for Elevations Travel in Atlanta, Georgia, has had numerous client inquiries about traveling to the countries that are set to reopen or already have reopened. Schoeder says her vaccinated clients are more optimistic about traveling and want to plan travel more than her non-vaccinated clients. The most desired destinations for her clients are Iceland, Greece and Italy.
“Across the board, my clients are concerned about the slow vaccination rates in the EU and how that might affect them. I have had clients ask if hotel staff will be vaccinated along with others, such as restaurant staff who will have close contact with them. They are also asking about mask requirements, social distancing and how countries will handle visitors to landmark sites such as the Colosseum. Summing up they are concerned about health safety more than anything right now…” said Schoeder.
“Hotels and DMCs have been great about answering questions, but some details need to be shared by the governments involved. I do not simply sell a destination. I give my clients the best information and advice that I have to help them make the decision that best suits them. And if that means recommending a longer wait to travel to Europe then that is what I will do,” Schoeder concluded.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there are still many questions that need to be answered. For now, however, we hold fast to the hope that Europe will once again reopen for us to explore.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/features/interest-in-european-travel-grows.html