EY Future Travel Behavior Observatory: 2 out of 3 Italians on holiday in Italy

Travel for holidays and work is on the rise despite the pandemic, but attitudes are changing: for 74% the choice is about sustainability

According to the results of the new analysis ofEY Future Travel Behaviours, in recent months the frequency among Italians to travel has increased, thanks to the progressive reduction of the restriction on national and international travel and mobility. Furthermore, more and more Italians attach great importance to sustainability (intended as a reduction of the environmental impact) as a criterion for travel choice.

According to the observatory’s data, in 2021 over 80% of Italians returned to travel for holiday reasons, an improvement compared to 2020 (70%), although still lower than pre-pandemic levels. The declared intentions for 2022 confirm this trend: over 60% will return to the same pre-pandemic travel habits and in some cases, 1 in 4, the number of trips will increase. Most of the sample (2 out of 3) will travel mainly to Italy, to relax and rest (65%), discover new places and make new cultural and gastronomic experiences (61%) and be together with family and friends (46%). The workation trend is consolidated with 6% of Italians who have planned to work remotely in a holiday resort.

Claudio d’Angelo, transportation market segment leader of EY in Italy, comments: “The results show that travelers’ habits are constantly changing, also accelerated by the impact of the pandemic, and driven by new drivers in which environmental sustainability plays a central role in travel choices: 2 out of 3 travelers are worried about the environmental consequences generated by means of transport and would be willing to pay a premium to limit the CO2 emissions of travel. In 2022 there is a positive propensity to return to pre-pandemic travel habits or in some cases to increase the number of trips, with Italy being the preferred destination for holiday travel by most people (67% ). Compared to last April’s edition, safety for 67% of the interviewees and environmental impact for 46% are confirmed as determining factors for the choice of means of transport, both with values ​​increasing respectively by 5 and 4 percentage points. Travelers have been able to adapt to the pandemic scenario by evolving their travel preferences and habits, but it will be essential for mobility, tourism and travel operators to anticipate what will be the new trends and drivers that will guide travel choices “.

The use of trains and airplanes compared to personal means also increased compared to 2020, but with levels still lower than in 2019, and with some differences by age group that reveal a consistent increase in air flights for the under 40s (42% vs 30% of the total sample). Travel for work is also increasing: among those traveling for work, the car remains the most used vehicle (60%), the train is used more than in 2019 (55%), while only 1 in 3 travels by plane .

Comfort and price are the main factors influencing the choice of the means of travel, as in the previous survey, but, even if the safety of the travel experience remains important, the latter nevertheless assumes less importance in the priorities of travelers. Instead, the importance attributed to sustainability increases: 74% of individuals say they have made travel choices thinking about sustainability as they are concerned about the consequences of their actions on the planet.

In the comparison between car and train, there is a high level of attention from travelers to initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of air travel, with over half of the sample considering those relating to the use of green fuels to be relevant, but also a willingness on the part of 2/3 of the interviewees to pay a premium to guarantee the compensation of CO emissions2 of their short and long haul trips.

As for 2022, Italy is the preferred destination for holiday travel by most people (67%). However, in line with the easing of restrictions and the improvement of the health situation, 33% of the sample also wishes to spend their holidays abroad (13% only abroad and 20% both). In 2022, vacationers will move in search of relaxation (65%), driven by the desire to discover different places and cultures (61%) and to be together with family and friends (46%).

A small percentage confirms a new trend introduced by the needs that arose in this period of severe restrictions and changes in work habits: 6% of people in fact plan to make workation trips, or to work remotely in holiday resorts.

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