In Europe, holiday travel is booming this season, surpassing the levels seen in 2022. Major cities like Munich and Paris are witnessing bustling Christmas markets and tourist sites, with travel within the European Union, including Britain, up by 22% from last year. Despite heightened security warnings due to recent terrorist threats and attacks in France and Belgium, tourists are continuing their plans, reassured by the increased security measures.
Holiday Travel in Europe Exceeds 2022 Levels Amid Security Concerns
This holiday season, Europe is experiencing a significant surge in holiday travel. According to ForwardKeys, a travel data firm, travel within the European Union and Britain has increased by 22% compared to 2022. Popular destinations, especially in cities like Munich and Paris, are witnessing busy Christmas markets and tourist attractions
As per Reuters, the increase in holiday travel is mainly due to the continued demand post-pandemic. Many people are traveling to see family for Christmas for the first time since the pandemic began. However, there is an underlying concern among tourists due to security warnings. European security officials have raised alerts about the risk of terrorist attacks, particularly from lone attackers, linked to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In response to these threats, countries like France, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have heightened their terrorism alert levels. Italy has reintroduced border controls with Slovenia to prevent the entry of potential militants.
Despite these concerns, holiday travel continues to thrive. There was a slight increase in ticket cancellations for the Christmas period, from 2.4% to 3%, which analysts believe could be due to the recent terrorism warnings. However, tourists are largely undeterred, placing their trust in the extensive security measures throughout Europe.
Visitors from Boston and Spain expressed feeling safe due to the visible security presence in places like the Munich Christmas market. The reinforced security and increased warnings have created a sense of calm among tourists, encouraging them not to cancel their travel plans.
Holiday Travel in Europe Gets a Boost from Expedia Group
The excitement for holiday travel in Europe is growing. Expedia Group's report says more people are looking for trips to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Also, Allianz Partners' index shows that travel from the USA to Europe this holiday season is 21% more than last year.
Expedia Group is making big moves to help travel companies in Europe. They are creating new partnerships and offering better technology and advertising, according to Phocus Wire. This is great for businesses wanting to attract more travelers.
Advertising plays a big part in holiday travel plans. About 19% of travelers say ads help them decide on their trips. Expedia Group is working with European travel groups to make ads that grab people's attention. For example, the Croatian National Tourism Board made ads that showed off Croatia's beauty, leading to more people spending money there. The European Travel Commission also ran a campaign to show off Central Europe's culture and history to American travelers.
Deutsche Hospitality is using Expedia's ads to get more bookings. These ads reach millions of visitors on Expedia's websites.
Expedia Group is also bringing new technology to European businesses. Germany's largest car club, ADAC, partnered with Expedia to give their travel agencies access to many travel options. Ryanair and Icelandair use Expedia's technology to offer more to their customers.
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