A new ‘European Traveller Insights Report’ from eDreams ODIGEO reveals an interesting shift in how Europeans book their travel and where they plan to go in 2017.
New research by eDreams ODIGEO, Europe’s largest online travel company, has revealed that European travellers are increasingly favouring cost-effective, short holidays over the traditional fortnight-long trip with a 40% rise in short breaks*. The European Traveller Insights report also shows that European travellers are becoming more adventurous with their holidays, booking breaks closer to the date of departure and choosing far-flung destinations such as Cuba (pictured above), Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan for their holidays.
The trends report, which is the first of its kind produced by the online travel company using data from across its five brands, highlights a number of ways that people across Europe are changing how they plan and book their holidays. Long breaks are being replaced with multiple short trips, with 40% of travellers taking a 3-4 day breaks in comparison to only six percent taking a 2-week holiday.
The day on which people book is also changing: Wednesday and Thursday are no longer the busiest times to book during the week in 2016, with over a third (34%) of European travellers booking their travel on Monday and Tuesday. Booking on the go is becoming more common too with more than 1 in 4 (29%) eDreams ODIGEO customers booking flights on their mobile device, which is 17% higher than the industry average.
Holiday makers still choose to take most of their breaks over the summer period and its holiday-makers from Germany and the UK who have the longest time to anticipate their summer trip, most commonly booking in
January or February. In comparison, travellers from Spain, Italy and France tend to book their summer holidays between April and May. Convenience is key, with 65% of European travellers using one single platform to book a number of services, such as flights, hotels, insurance and ground transportation.
Europeans are also increasingly seeking out non-traditional destinations for their breaks. Rising stars that are predicted to be the 2017 hotspots include Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, which recently expanded its visa-free entry for Europeans, and La Habana (Havana) in Cuba, where the US reopened its embassy last year. Both have seen dramatic increases in bookings (176% and 134% respectively) in comparison to previously popular destinations such as Tunis and Djerba in Tunisia that have seen declines since the country’s political unrest (-28% and -44% respectively). Among the list of predictions for the top destinations in 2017 is also Turin, the cultural capital of North Italy, Rotterdam, the major port city in the Netherlands and Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood.
The British, Germans and the French travel the most, with an average of 43% taking at least three trips per year. However, the research reveals that the Italians are the most adventurous when it comes to trying new destinations. In fact, almost half of Italian travellers (48 percent) are always looking for new destinations, along with 44 percent of French travellers and 35 percent of German travellers, who say they always change their destination when booking trips.
In addition, European travellers are happy to switch airlines if it means a better deal. Almost all (98 percent) claim they have no particular airline that they prefer to travel with. In fact, in 2016, 21 percent more travellers booked outbound and return flights with different airlines compared to last year.
The CEO of eDreams ODIGEO, Dana Dunne commented, “Online travel is the largest and fastest growing ecommerce sector in Europe. It is clear that despite the currency fluctuations and economic uncertainty, travel is still top of Europe’s agenda and to keep up with consumer demands of ease, choice and speed when booking trips, travel companies will have to innovate. With customers increasingly becoming mobile-friendly too we are focusing our efforts on improving this experience in particular, and as such have seen the biggest growth in the industry on mobile. Looking at our return flight bookings from this year the trend for more unusual destinations looks set to escalate in 2017 and European travellers will want quick, easy ways of finding and booking their trips. Brand loyalty has been replaced by choices based on the best value and most convenient options. We believe that online travel companies are best placed to provide this service and help continue the growth of the travel industry across Europe.”
For the fifth successive year, the growth of the Travel & Tourism sector in 2015 (2.8%) outpaced that of the global economy (2.3%) and a number of other major sectors such as manufacturing and retail and this trend is expected to continue in coming years. Online travel is the largest ecommerce sector; it is three times the size of apparel, the next largest. eDreams ODIGEO is Europe’s largest travel retailer and served 17 million customers last year with over 155,000 flight routes.
Download full report HERE.
*Refers to short breaks taken with a hotel and flight booking
 Phocuswright European Online Travel Overview 2016
 Travel & Tourism, Economic Impact 2016, The World Travel and Tourism Council