Eurostat: Domestic travel has flourished during the pandemic while airlines have suffered steep declines
Despite the pandemic affecting all aspects of tourism, domestic travel has seen fewer declines, for example, a 34% drop in the number of domestic customers was recorded in the 27-nation bloc while international tourism fell by 70 %.
This information was shared during the podcast of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, hosted by Jonathan Elliot, which mainly covered travel-related issues, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The podcast revealed that domestic tourism has become more important than international tourism throughout 2020 as travel options were limited during this time.
According to Ulf Sonntag, although the number of trips, flights and guests, in general, dropped, it was not quite because people started to travel more in their country, using the car as their main means of transport, since the flight alternatives included different requirements such as wearing masks, presenting test or vaccination certificates, in addition to other examinations.
“It’s possible that people would rather be in a car bubble with their own family than on a plane with lots of other people. But there are also, of course, the pure facts. If you stay closer to home you for your destinations, it is less likely that you will need a plane to get there.When you go to the nearby area, you can go by car, by train, whereas if you used to go to the Canary Islands you can only go by plane”, Christophe Demunter from Eurostat.
He also pointed out that air passenger transport had fallen very sharply, marking a drop of around 75% in 2020, which is much stronger than the drop in hotel nights, which fell by 50%.
A different trend seen during pandemic travel was people spending more days on their trips and also as soon as hotels were open for work, demand increased almost at the same time.
The silver lining to this finding, as participants pointed out, is that people considered and visited destinations closer to home and discovered places they hadn’t thought of visiting before the pandemic.
Additionally, Ulf Sonntag of NIT, a tourism research institute in Germany, found that people tend to head more to coastal destinations or perhaps mountains and rural areas, leading to less high footfall in popular destinations, especially those that rely entirely on international arrivals. .
“If you compare Spain to Malta, you see that in Spain, to a certain extent, local people could replace international visitors. But if you look at Malta with only a few 100,000 people, you won’t see that effect,” said Sonntag.
They also revealed that as the number of applications declined, employment rates also changed, dropping by around 15%.
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