With large parts of Europe in lockdown for many months, the global coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has significantly impacted the way we spend our money, especially when it comes to booking holidays.
Even as the lockdown eases across many countries in the summer months, holiday spending will see a dramatic reduction in 2020 compared with previous years as families reprioritise spending and start to save and budget their finances.
The results of a Europe-wide survey by Dutch-based financial institution ING show that even a lifting of restrictions in many popular tourist destinations has done little to lift consumer confidence. They discovered several reasons why people were deciding against travelling abroad this summer.
Only Spending on the Essentials
Many thousands of people across the UK and Europe have seen a sudden and sharp downturn in their regular income. Some people have had to take pay cuts, others have been furloughed, while many have lost their jobs altogether.
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When incomes are squeezed, non-essential expenditure is the first thing to go. Even those who had previously booked holidays, but experienced a sudden change in their circumstances, have cancelled or plan to cancel their holiday. This accounted for 38% of the people surveyed by ING while a further 23% said they hadn’t previously booked and don’t plan on booking in the current climate.
Just 6% said they had not booked to travel but still intend to book a holiday while 12% said they had booked somewhere and still hadn’t cancelled as they hedge their bets.
With many airlines and travel companies offering refunds, vouchers or the opportunity to switch bookings, it seems most people have taken one of those options, and many for financial reasons.
Staying Safe and Sound During Covid-19
A tightening of the purse strings isn’t the only reason why people are reluctant to travel on their annual summer holiday. Many families have decided to cut out spending on holidays because they do not feel sufficiently safe about travelling overall.
Although some countries appear to have dealt well with the coronavirus, high numbers in some areas mean people are reluctant to travel and this has led to them cancelling holidays they have already booked or deciding against booking in the first place.
Potential travellers have also cited restrictions which will have been put in place in hotels, resorts and campsites as a reason not to travel and reduce their holiday spending. Holidays, after all, are a time for relaxing and that can be hard to do with restrictions in place.
Holidaying at Home
While holidays abroad may be off the menu for many people, some have indicated that they may still look for breaks at home. This would mean that holiday spending could be directed in different directions. The ING survey found that 70% of people surveyed across Europe said they were more likely to holiday in their own country this summer.