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Aussies are finding more affordable ways to holiday in Europe

New research from the European Travel Commission show the continent remains popular but highly expensive for long-haul travellers.

Long-haul travellers to Europe are seeking out more affordable destinations.

Nearly one-third of long-haul travellers with European aspirations say they will choose their next holiday spot on the continent based on affordability and the cost of experiences in their destination.

The latest Long-Haul Travel Barometer published by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail BV shows the continent remains popular as a mid-year getaway in many markets including Australia, however cost-of-living concerns are forcing travellers to be more selective as to their destination.

The survey of 1,000 respondents in Australia, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan and the U.S. found resilient intent on travel to Europe between May and August 2023, with Australia scoring among the highest at 38%, but value for money was more important than ever.

On-the-ground budgets are getting tighter for European holidays.

The cost of local tourism services was a key concern, rising 10% compared to similar studies in 2021 and 2022 and now sitting just behind safety (39%) and the standard of facilities (35%).

Respondents said they had ways to cut their expenses while visiting Europe, including cutting their shopping and souvenir budgets, booking all-inclusive itineraries, sourcing cheaper accommodation, utilising benefits from loyalty programs, eating at less-expensive restaurants or self-catering.

European Travel Commission President Miguel Sanz said Europe must be wary of challenges such as inflation and how this impacts its key long-haul markets.

“As we can see from this research, affordability has become a key issue for travellers planning to visit Europe,” Sanz said.

Travellers would still prioritise popular landmarks even if they cost money to enjoy.

“At the same time, we should not forgo commitments to sustainability. Informing travellers of more responsible travel choices in Europe should [also] be a top priority for European destinations and businesses.”

Travellers are also more cognizant of the impact weather conditions can have in their destination, with the survey identifying this as another influencer not just in terms of how weather might affect their visit, but how a destination is set up to handle adverse conditions.

Destinations that prioritise the safeguarding of their natural environment and cultural heritage also performed well in the study, however only 15% said they would seek out less crowded landmarks and destinations, still opting to take in the most popular attractions during their visit.

More cities were taking steps to protect their natural landmarks, with Rome officials recently imposing a charge for visitors to see its once-free Pantheon.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 7 June 2023

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