Europeans cut back on clothes or technology but do not give up travelling despite the crisis

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According to eDreams' latest study, holidays are booked further in advance to take advantage of bargains, but budget accommodation is not a popular choice

edreams study travel crisis
The eDreams study included more than 2,500 participants from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, the UK, and Germany that have acknowledged that their spending habits have changed since the start of the crisis

The crisis has not stopped wanderlust European tourists. This is apparent from the results of online travel agency eDreams' latest study, "Travelling in times of crisis: Travel trends in Europe in the current economic situation". The study was launched to find out how travel habits have changed over the past four years. Results show buying in advance, taking advantage of offers and discounts, and saving on restaurants and shopping at the destination are the most common ways tourists cut back to avoid giving up their holidays.

The study carried out by eDreams reinforces the data in reports representative of the tourism industry: Europeans like to travel. During 2012 alone, eDreams clients travelled in total more than 17,000 hours in which they came to go around the Earth’s circumference more than 400,000 times and more than 40,000 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Co-founder and Marketing Director of eDreams, Mauricio Prieto, states that "the online channel has democratised the travel industry, and is responsible for the phenomena we see in this study: it offers more freedom when searching for destinations and allows more transparent buying without intermediaries, advantages that have caused 50% of trips to be booked online." The World Tourism Organization also highlights the online tourism boom, a trend that, according to Travel Weekly, has caused the sale of airline tickets and dynamic packages (flight + hotel packages) to increase significantly over the last five years.

The eDreams study included more than 2,500 participants from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, the UK, and Germany that have acknowledged that their spending habits have changed since the start of the crisis. These changes are noticed even before the holidays: most said they prefer to spend less on clothes (25%) and technological devices (21%) throughout the year to be able to travel.

If before the crisis most bookings were made last minute, now 44% of travellers book in advance to ensure better deals, while only 22% leave it to the last minute. In addition, over 70% are sure to search offers and promotions before deciding, a particularly strong trend in Portugal (84%) and less common in countries such as Germany (22%).

During holidays, the part of the budget that is the easiest to cut back on is shopping (24%), followed by savings on flights (21%), and eating out at restaurants (20%). The accommodation, however, is something that European tourists are not willing to compromise. Although everyday, there are more and more alternatives for budget accommodation, like couch surfing, 65% of those surveyed said they have never used a different form of lodging than a hotel.

Companions and destination, two factors that influence the crisis:

90% of those surveyed by eDreams for the preparation of the study said that they usually travel accompanied by others, whether it be by family, friends, or a partner. Travelling with one's partner is the most common: 48% of respondents said that this is their preferred way to travel.

Regarding the destinations, increasingly more original places are chosen. North African cities have experienced steady growth over the past four years. The mosques, markets, and colourful streets of Tunisia, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Istanbul have replaced Latin American cities and New York, destinations that were in high demand 4 years ago.

Within Europe, London now heads the list of cities, defeating Paris, the reigning champion. These two capitals, which are always popular, are closely followed by Barcelona and Madrid in third and fourth place, as Spanish culture and customs in the Iberian Peninsula prove very appealing to foreign tourists.

About eDreams
eDreams is one of the leading online travel agencies in Europe. The company offers its services in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Chile, India, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, South Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, and the global English-speaking market. eDreams has recorded one of the highest growth rates in the European market for online travel. The company offers a wide range of services including flights, hotels, flight + hotel, and other products, which are available for their clients through booking engines that integrate the latest technologies and price searches.

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