Americans are returning to Europe and war on the continent is not a major deterring them.
According to a recent MMGY Travel Intelligence survey, 61 percent of American travelers with plans to visit Europe this year intend to follow through despite the war in Ukraine.
MMGY asked 400 leisure travelers who had planned or were considering a trip to Europe this year and most are keeping their plans to travel to the region, however, one in three respondents said that the war will affect which countries they visit.
Only 23 percent of those with plans indicated that they intend to wait and see how the situation evolves before finalizing their plans. Ten percent said that they are likely to delay/reschedule and just 7 percent are likely to cancel.
Chris Davidson, executive Vice President of MMGY Travel Intelligence, noted that many see popular destinations in Western Europe as far enough away from the conflict
“While the war in Ukraine is clearly a top-of-mind concern for many travelers, it does not appear that it will ultimately deter a majority of Americans from visiting Europe,” Davidson said. “This is especially true of travel to Western European destinations that are perceived to be a bit more geographically removed from the conflict.”
Initial concerns about travel to Europe during the war have waned since its outbreak in Ukraine. Traveler concerns about the conflict spreading to other parts of Europe have declined (62 percent to 54 percent), while concerns about the rising cost of travel have increased (32 percent to 38 percent).
Of particular concern is the jump in airfare prices. Four out of 10 (37 percent) attribute the rising cost of domestic air travel to the war in Ukraine.
While Americans are still ready to travel to Europe, the war has also increased concerns about travel safety in Europe (58 percent either agree or strongly agree). For many, it is also increasing their travel safety concerns in regards to travel to international destinations other than Europe (45 percent) and even travel within the U.S. (27 percent).
Western Europe is perceived as safer than Eastern European countries. Americans are more likely to consider Eastern European countries less safe than countries in Western Europe, according to MMGY. Among those who have a trip planned, Poland, Germany and Austria are the countries outside of Ukraine and Russia perceived to be less safe as a result of the war.
While there are elevated flight prices, travelers who make it to Europe will find few travel restrictions as many countries have removed COVID-19 entry barriers such as pre-arrival testing.
The most popular European summer travel destinations are far from the fighting in Ukraine. A recent Allianz survey found that London, Paris and Dublin remain the three most popular places on U.S. travelers’ itineraries in 2022.
Reykjavik, Iceland, is the fourth most popular spot for U.S. travelers followed by Rome.
Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Partners USA, noted that pent-up demand is still driving travelers but that they should be prepared when going abroad.
“European destinations have made a significant effort to welcome Americans back and our data shows tremendous pent-up demand for travel to the continent. International travelers should always consider travel insurance plans that provide reimbursement for covered trip cancellations and medical emergencies that may occur while traveling.”
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