The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on Europe and a recent study shows that more than 40% of its inhabitants won't leave for the holidays this summer.
Summer is near and some people are already thinking about what they'll be packing for the holidays. But according to the latest Ipsos – Europ Assistance holiday barometer, there will be less Europeans leaving their home in 2012 than in 2011. Only 58% of them intend to leave at least once between June and September, a decline of eight points compared to 2011. And guess who's guilty. The crisis, of course.
A new low
In its eleven previous studies, never had the numbers been so low. "We can witness a real breakdown" says Martin Vial, CEO of Europ Assistance.
There used to be between 60% and 66% of people planning to get away on holidays. This year the numbers are down, mainly because of Italian, Spanish and British people who have been strongly hit by the crisis."
Countries where the crisis has been particularly heavy have indeed less holidaymakers planning on getting away. That's the case for Italy where 63% if people intend to leave, whereas they were 78% last year. In Spain and Great Britain, those numbers fall to 51%.
Holidays often rhyme with expenses. Even though Europeans' holiday budget is down by only 20 euros (2,125€ on average), there are noticeable discrepancies between countries. Whereas it drops by 554€ in Italy, German holidaymakers claim they will increase it by 229€. Same crisis, different consequences.
And what about the location? If last year the decisive factor was climate, everything changed because of the economic turmoil. How much the holidays will cost is the number one priority now. For 44% of Europeans, this is the criterion that matters most.
Europe and nothing else
Staying in Europe turns out to be the best solution. For 80% of people who took part in the study, it is THE place to be this summer. And if half of Europeans are thinking of staying in their own countries, those who expect a change of scenery will mainly go to France, which remains Europe's favorite holiday destination, before Italy and Spain.
Crisis or not, holidaymakers keeping on looking for calm and rest. It's no surprise that ideal holidays are qualified as peaceful and relaxing by 61% of people. Only 36% hope to spend their time visiting and exploring.
A ratio that all holidaymakers have in common, no matter their nationality. Just as two thirds of them think of going to the seaside this summer, instead of staying in the mountains (16%) or in the country (15%). Who knows, maybe they'll try to drown this crisis once and for all…