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News | 22/06/2010
Discover the conclusions of the 10th Ipsos - EuroAssistance holiday survey
The 10th Ipsos - EuroAssistance holiday survey The economic crisis is still influencing the holiday plans of European consumers, although they look set to spend more than last year. The EuroAssistance group’s CEO Martin VIAL has presented the results of the 10th Ipsos–EuroAssistance "Barometer" survey into the holiday intentions and concerns of European consumers. Produced by Ipsos at the request of the EuroAssistance group, and involving a sample of 3500 European consumers (including French, Germans, Britons, Italians, Spanish, Belgians and Austrians) each year this leading survey, which this year is being published for the 10th year running*, seeks to estimate the holiday plans of citizens from the countries concerned in addition to the factors influencing them, their chosen holiday destinations and the types of stay they are planning. More than 6 Europeans out of 10 (64%) intend to go away on holiday at least once this summer, although this figure is down in comparison with 2008 In 2010, the economic crisis is still affecting holiday departure plans, which have not yet recovered their 2008 levels. Just as in 2009, 64% of Europeans stated that they will be going away on holiday this summer (68% for the French) compared to 67% two years previously. This fall of three percentage points has consequently not been rectified this year. The change in holiday planning compared to 2008 is particularly evident among the Mediterranean nations (with a fall of six percentage points for the French, Italians and Spanish). However, the effects of the crisis are even clearer when we examine "multiple" departures (the practice of taking several holidays) which are suffering in particular from the poor socio-economic situation, with the recorded levels being significantly different from the multiple holiday plans stated in 2008. This is particularly the case for French and British consumers, of whom 19% and 34% respectively stated that they intend to go away several times this summer, compared to 32% and 42% two years ago. Europe, which accounts for 80% of stated holiday intentions (+2 points) is the favourite holiday destination for European consumers once again in summer 2010. The ranking of the various countries within Europe has remained unchanged, with a continued preference for the Mediterranean: Italy (19%, -2 points), Spain (16%, -1 point), and France (16%, unchanged). 48% of Europeans (+2 points) stated that they will be remaining in their own country. This year we are seeing an increase in national holidays in a number of countries, which may be a sign of rationalisation and/or something of an inward focus after a year marked by the economic and financial crisis. This is particularly the case with France, where 60% of French consumers (+6 points) will be spending their holidays in their own country. The seaside remains the favourite holiday environment for Europeans (62%, -2 points) way ahead of the other types of holiday destination. As in previous years, the seaside particularly attracts the Italians (73%, -2 points). For their part, the British generally tend to be more attracted by "travelling holidays" (29%, -3 points), while mountain holidays are more popular on average among the German (24%, +8 points) and the Italians (24%, +4 points). Most of the people interviewed (60%, +1 point) are chiefly looking for "rest", which remains well ahead of the notion of "discovery" (38%, unchanged). This preference for rest is growing strongly in a number of countries. This is the case for the United Kingdom (64%, +9 points), Spain (61%, +7 points) and Belgium (66%, +7 points). In the UK in particular, the wish to spend time at home with the family is one which is being strongly expressed this year. At an average of €2083, the holiday budget of European consumers is rising once again in most countries and is having less effect on the choice of holiday destinations Though suffering from the tough decisions to be made by many households during the economic crisis in 2009, the "holiday budget" now appears to be stabilising. The average European "holiday budget" stands at €2083 (+ €17) and is still struggling to recover from the falls seen last year. However, this relative average stability should be considered in light of major differences from country to country. Although the holiday budget is recovering in certain countries (it has increased significantly in France (+ €123), the United Kingdom (+ €142) and Spain (+ €220), it has nevertheless continued to fall in Italy (- €72), in Austria (- €55) and particularly in Germany (- €194). As a result, Germany now joins France and Spain under the €2000 mark. The budget devoted to holidays (which since 2005 has played an increasing role in the choice of holiday destination) is this year losing its influence, demonstrating that the financial aspect is now less influential in the choice of holiday. Although, as in previous years, it remains one of the key criteria influencing the choice of holiday, it is today seen as playing a vital role by 39% of European consumers (-7 points). The climate (41%, -3 points) has now emerged as the leading factor in the choice of a holiday destination. Finally, the key aspect of holidays hit by the economic crisis naturally remains the budget. The crisis has had a major influence on the "holiday budget" of 42% of respondents (-2 points). These consumers are looking to make savings in particular on leisure activities and outings (68%) and clothing (66%). The French plan less deprivation than last year on everyday expenses during their next summer holiday. Those who stated that the crisis will influence their holiday budget plan to reduce their expenditure on leisure and outings (66%, -6 points) and clothing (59%, -6 points). The budgetary area benefiting most from this phenomenon is transport and vehicles (42%, -17 points). Almost two thirds of European consumers (59%) see the Internet as the "revolution of the decade" in the holiday field, well ahead of the launch of gift packs To mark the publication of the 10th Ipsos-EuroAssistance "barometer" survey, interviewees were asked this year to state those factors which they feel have marked the history of tourism over the last decade. European consumers clearly see technology as having heavily influenced their view of the last 10 years. The Internet is overwhelmingly considered as having revolutionised the tourist industry over the last decade. The possibility to select and book your holidays at home using the Internet accounted for more than half of the votes (59%), well ahead of the other factors mentioned. More than one European consumer in three ranked this factor in first place, proof if ever it was needed of the strong psychological foothold achieved by the Internet phenomenon. This was followed by the growth of the low-cost airlines, mentioned by 35% of respondents, trailed closely by the increasing prevalence of "all-inclusive" holiday packages (27%), the increase in the number of weekend and short stays (25%), and the rise of last-minute bookings (24%); and finally, far behind, the emergence of gift packs (6%). The Internet, which is enjoying continued major growth (53%, +3 points compared to 2009, +6 points compared to 2008), naturally consolidated its position as the preferred reservation tool in 2010. British consumers, who stood out from the rest, are those most favourable to online reservations with 68% of holidaymakers booking their purchases by this means (+8 points), just like last year the French are in second place (56%, -1 point), and are gradually being caught up by the Belgians (54%, +8 points). 

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