ITB Berlin is set to publish a study by IPK on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel behaviour, showing Germans’ interest in travel abroad remains high.

When asked what their travel intentions were in during the current pandemic, 70% of German outbound travellers said they would continue to travel abroad – despite no vaccine being available.

This puts Germany above the European average and in particular above the global average. Close to 20% of the interviewees said they could only imagine travelling within Germany. 10% said they did not want to travel at all in these times of the coronavirus.

Over 80% of Germans intending to travel abroad in times of Covid-19 said they wanted to holiday before the end of the year. Spain was their preferred destination (with the Canaries at the top of the list), followed by Italy, France and Austria. Compared with pre-coronavirus levels, the interest among Germans in visiting Switzerland, Greece and Denmark was also above average.  By contrast, interest in destinations outside Europe was below average.

When asked about the perceived risk of coronavirus infection through tourism products and services, German outbound travellers ranked car journeys as safest (only 4% saw a higher risk of infection in this case). Holidays close to nature, apartments and camping were considered to be equally safe, and the majority also regard sun and beach holidays as rather safe.  By contrast, most interviewees saw air travel, cruises and large events in particular as presenting a high risk. 

Despite their keen interest in travel abroad even in these times of the coronavirus, a majority of Germans (85%) are anxious, as are people in other countries, and see travel as posing an additional risk of infection (80%). Thus, any measures capable of improving perceived safety are very important for winning over those interested in travel as customers. Germans attach particular importance to keeping minimum distance, in restaurants and on transport such as trains and on aircraft. 90% of German outbound travellers saw these measures as important.

Destination rankings

Germans rated their home country as the safest destination by a long shot, followed by neighbouring countries Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria. South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates led the ranking among long-haul destinations.

In September, IPK International intends to conduct a second survey to re-assess destinations’ prospects and to ascertain if there are any changes.

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