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Brussels, 13 May 2011

Bright vision for tourist season 2011

Increasing number of Europeans enjoy their holidays: 68% of EU citizens travelled for private reasons in 2010 compared to 65% in 2009. These findings of a new Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism confirm other indicators that tourism has recovered from economic crisis. Preference still inclines towards traditional tourist destinations (58%), while 28% would like to discover emerging destinations. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani presented today the Eurobarometer at the European Tourism Stakeholders Conference organised by the Hungarian Presidency and the European Commission in Budapest.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: "The fact that 58% of EU residents are opting to enjoy their holidays in Europe highlights that, generally, the tourism industry is on its way to recovery and becoming a growth industry once again."

Among the most relevant findings of the new Eurobarometer survey there are:

  • The most popular choices: Italy was the most frequently mentioned planned holiday destination for 2011 (11.5%). Spain came second with 8.6% followed by France (8.2%). 23% of EU residents have not decided yet where to spend their holidays.

  • Continuing trend towards discovering Europe and the home country: In 2011 58% of Europeans plan to spend their holidays in their own country or in another EU country..

  • Increasing appetite for travelling: Almost three-quarters of (73% vs 69% last year) EU citizens travelled for leisure or business in 2010. The top five travellers are the residents of Finland (89%), Denmark (87%), the Netherlands, Sweden (both 87%), Luxembourg (85%) and Norway (84%).

  • "Local attractiveness" matters: 32 % named it as the major consideration when choosing holiday destinations, followed by "cultural heritage" (27%) and "entertainment possibilities" (14 %).

  • Seeking "rest and recreation" was the main motivation for over a third of the leisure travellers (36%), followed by "sun and beach" (18%) and "visiting friends and relatives" (17%).

  • Arranging their holidays individually: over half of EU citizens organised their main holidays themselves in 2010 (57%); this is even more popular in the candidate countries Turkey (80%), Iceland (79%) and Croatia (78%)!

Over 30,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over, were interviewed in February 2011 in the 27 EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is the third consecutive year that the Commission has done such an extensive survey, which offers a wealth of comparable information to all tourism stakeholders, presented analytically in country specific and demographic categories.

The European Commission has conducted this kind of survey once a year since 2008 in order to monitor the short and medium term travel and tourism trends of European citizens. This allows both the Commission and its stakeholders to react to changes in tourism demand, thus being an important instrument for tourism policy making as well as for tourism industry planning, in particular on types of tourism and on prevailing destinations.


According to Eurostat, in 2010 the nights spent by non-residents were the biggest contributor to the overall growth figures: hotels and similar establishments showed a stronger revival (+5.1%), compared with those spent by the residents (+1.1%). The growth in 2010 compensated for about two-thirds of the decrease in 2008 and 2009 for total nights spent and non-resident nights spent. The number of resident nights spent, which was less affected by the crisis, reached a record level in 2010.

For more information:

The full report on the Eurobarometer survey on "The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism 2011"

European Tourism Stakeholders Conference

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