The ‘European Traveller Insights Report’ compiled by online travel company eDreams ODIGEO reveals Turin is on track to be one of the most popular destinations of 2017, based on a 316% increase in bookings for next year to the Italian city, compared to bookings in the same time frame the previous year.
eDreams ODIGEO, one of Europe’s largest online travel companies whose brands include popular travel booking sites eDreams and Opodo, has released the inaugural report based on the company’s extensive data to share insight into consumers’ travel habits.
The list of trending destinations is an eclectic one and includes Astana in Kazakhstan (176%), Havana, Cuba (134%) as well as Jeddah (98%) and Medina (93%), both in Saudi Arabia. Many of these destinations share the common theme of increased accessibility; Kazakhstan has recently expanded its visa-free entry regime while Havana has seen a strong tourism injection due to the lifted restrictions on US travel.
Scotland’s own Inverness makes number eight on the list, having seen an 80% increase in bookings in 2016. The city, often regarded as the capital of the Highlands, attracts visitors not only during the summer but also for skiing in the winter. It also shares the accessibility theme, as May 2016 saw British Airways reinstate their daily Heathrow-Inverness route for the first time in nearly 20 years.
|Predictions of top destinations for European travellers in 2017, based on bookings made so far||Percentage increase|
|Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||98%|
|Medina, Saudi Arabia||93%|
The report also reveals the risers and fallers according to bookings made by European travellers in 2016, compared to volumes in 2015. The findings show the travellers stayed away from many Arabic nations, with Tunisia in particular suffering a decline in three major cities; Djerba (-44%), Tunis (-39%) and Monastir (-28%). Morocco also attracted fewer visitors than in 2015, with bookings to Agadir down 41%, Casablanca (-28%) and Marrakech (-21%) year on year.
|Destinations that saw the biggest YOY fall in 2016 among European travellers||Percentage decrease|
|Tel Aviv, Israel||-11%|
Of those destinations which saw increased bookings in 2016, Cuba rose fastest, with Havana seeing a 54% increase. However, Spain and the Spanish territories were the clear winner, claiming four of the top ten 2016 destinations. Alicante (34%), Gran Canaria (27%), Tenerife (18%) and Malaga (17%) all saw significant increases in visitors throughout the last year. The top ten was completed by European neighbour Portugal (Faro, 32%) as well as longer haul destinations including India (New Delhi, 31%) and Vietnam (Hanoi, 27%).
|Destinations that saw the biggest YOY rise in 2016 among European travellers||Percentage increase|
|New Delhi, India||31%|
|Gran Canaria, Spain||27%|
|Panama City, Panama||25%|
The ‘European Traveller Insights Report’ also details information about how travellers book, how frequently and how much they are willing to pay.
Brits are the biggest jet-setters in Europe, with over half (52%) taking three or more trips in a year, but are also the least adventurous, with 11% who say they always holiday in the same destination.
Better value flight deals offered by airlines in the light of falling oil prices led to European travellers taking 17% more short breaks in 2016, and paying 7% less for each trip.
One of the biggest trends in travel of the current generation is the fact-paced growth in online bookings. Over a quarter (29%) of eDreams ODIGEO customers make their flight bookings via a mobile device, a figure which has increased by over half (51%) in the last year alone.
Travellers are also becoming more savvy and choosing to combine flights from different airlines in order to find the cheapest, most convenient options. According to the report, seven in every ten travellers (71%) book outbound and return flights with different airlines to get the best option.
Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO, commented: “Our inaugural European Traveller Insights Report offers unique insights into travellers’ booking habits, as well as revealing the destinations likely to be big in 2017, based on bookings already made from across our strong European customer base. Increased accessibility has offered a boost to many destinations; Turin has seen an increase in flight routes across Europe which may well have contributed to its significant rise in bookings, while the recent lift in US travel restrictions to Cuba seems to have had a knock-on effect, also attracting visitors from across the rest of the world.
“Furthermore, it’s particularly interesting to see Inverness make the top ten list for 2017, with European travellers perhaps drawn to explore new UK destinations following the fall of the pound. Our report also demonstrates that brand loyalty has been replaced by choice, with consumers shopping around to find the best value and most convenient options.”