2022 Portrait of European Travelers


UK and French travellers plan to take the highest number of holidays in 2023, with the UK planning to spend more than £4,000 per year on international travel

While the cost of living may be squeezing many households, travel appears to be the last item for people to do without, with U.K. travellers planning 2.5 international trips on average over the next 12 months and expecting to spend over £4,000 ($4,908) in total for international holidays, according to new research by MMGY Travel Intelligence.

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This week, the company released the findings of its first-ever Portrait of European Travellers™ study. Examining data from more than 4,000 respondents, the comprehensive survey found that European travellers are determined to keep travelling, intending to take an average of 2.3 international holidays in 2023 and spend an average of $3,975 – up 1% from the reported pre-pandemic average annual spend.

In terms of destinations, Europe is the most popular choice for travel over the next three years, followed by the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.

This brand-new survey delves deep into pertinent topics to uncover key insights into travel intentions, preferences, priorities and habits of the European market. The respondents were selected equally from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and had to have an intention to travel internationally within the next 12 months. It follows MMGY Travel Intelligence’s September launch of its annual Portrait of American Intentional Travelers™ study, which is considered the gold standard in the U.S. for tracking the holiday intentions, preferences, priorities and habits of American international travellers.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our study demonstrates that there is clearly a strong appetite to get out and see the world, and people are hungry to spend their money on this simple pleasure and are not willing to do without it,” says MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe Managing Director Cees Bosselaar. “This is not to say people aren’t cost conscious, with good deals and budget being key influencers on holiday choices. Destinations and service providers should continue to be mindful of concerns and challenges that today’s travellers face. It is our hope that this new study will help to provide helpful guidance to travel industry professionals in the development of brand strategies, messaging priorities, audience segmentation, media planning and more for the year to come.”

Key findings from the first annual Portrait of European Travellers™ study include:

  • On a per trip basis, U.K., Spanish and Italian travellers intend to spend more than French and German travellers.
  • While Gen Zs intend to take more international trips in 2023 (average of 3.2), compared to Gen Xers (average of 2.3) and Boomers (average of 1.9), Gen Xers and Boomers plan to spend more on these trips than Gen Zs ($4,376 and $4,291 respectively compared to $2,679).
    In terms of influencing factors, COVID-19 sits at the bottom of the list of factors impacting travel decisions, while the cost of airfare and accommodations in addition to personal safety sit at the top.
  • The primary motivator for Europeans travelling internationally is to experience different cultures, while for the U.K. the desire to get away and unplug and spend time with family and friends rated most highly.
  • All European travellers agree that their top choice of accommodation is chain-affiliated hotels, while the second choice varies by country, with Spanish and U.K. travellers choosing to stay in resorts, French travellers preferring short-term rentals and Italian travellers choosing B&B accommodation.
  • Thirty percent of European travellers indicate that they have avoided a destination or transportation option because they feel that it was not committed to sustainable practices.

For more information about the study or to purchase a copy, visit mmgyintel.com or contact cbosselaar@mmgyintel.com.

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About the 2022 Portrait of European Travellers
MMGY Travel Intelligence has released this groundbreaking study of European travellers to guide travel industry professionals in the development of brand strategies, messaging priorities, audience segmentation, media planning and more. This in-depth study is designed to reveal how travellers in leading European travel markets are thinking about travel opportunities in the year ahead as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. This 20-minute survey profiled travellers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and qualified them based on their intent to travel internationally in the next 12 months. This study was fielded in October 2022, and its respondents were nationally representative of the nations in which they reside.

About MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe
MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe is MMGY Global’s industry research and insights brand in Europe, offering proprietary data and research designed to power travel industry decision-makers through consumer insights, travel performance data, and audience modelling and segmentation. With offerings including the inaugural Portrait of European Travellers™ study, MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe features top consumer insights exclusively for the travel and tourism industry. To learn more about the extensive collection of research, analytics and strategy services, visit mmgyintel.com/europe or email us at research@mmgyglobal.com.

For further press information on MMGY Travel Intelligence, please contact Grifco PR: Laura Forbes (lforbes@grifcopr.com) or Charlotte Winter (cwinter@grifcopr.com).