Has France Bounced Back? Survey Says 'Yes.'
PHOTO: France tops the list of European destinations for U.S. travelers once again. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
New survey results from Travel Leaders suggests that France has bounced back for American travelers. The country was selected as the top country U.S. travelers were planning on visiting when traveling to Europe in the coming months. According to the survey, for the 17.1 percent of travelers with upcoming plans to travel to Europe, the number one choice was France, followed by Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain.
The survey was partially commissioned to gauge how travelers felt about travel to Europe following a series of high-profile terorr attacks. When participants were asked “Is your intention to continue with those travel plans?” nearly all (98.3 percent) respondents said “Yes.”
Another key finding: For those who were not planning to travel to Europe in 2016, the majority of survey respondents stated that the reason why was because they already had another big vacation planned. More than 48 percent of respondents indicated other plans and another 31 percent said that they wouldn’t be traveling to Europe due to expenses.
Only 26 percent said that they wouldn’t be traveling to Europe due to concerns of safety, however, safety concerns were among the top five reasons why they wouldn’t travel to the region. Additionally, 16 percent said that they were not interested in traveling to Europe and just over six percent said that they had no vacation time.
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“The ‘new normal’ in today’s world means potential risks of travel exist just about everywhere, including here at home. So perhaps it’s not surprising that our latest survey data indicates that many Americans will not let fear and threats overtake their desire to embrace the world and experience other cultures; France is a primary example,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “While each person must decide on their personal level of comfort in traveling to any destination – even those within the U.S. – the survey data shows many are still choosing Europe, and France specifically, as their destination of choice. Travel continues to be one of the single-most powerful catalysts for addressing ignorance, fear and hate. Based our survey findings, a significant number of American travelers agree.”
Other key findings in the survey indicated that many were planning trips to Europe farther in the future. When asked if they were contemplating a trip (or another trip) to Europe in 2016, 28 percent of respondents said yes. The top countries for future travel plans were the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Ireland, in that order.
Respondents were also asked if there were any countries that they wouldn’t visit in Europe, and France was notably absent from the list.
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The top response, from the nearly 3,100 survey participants, was no, there were no countries that they wouldn’t visit. Nearly 38 percent of respondents indicated that they would go anywhere in Europe. Nearly 27 percent said “No, I/we cannot allow fear to dictate our travels.” Twenty-one percent said they wouldn’t travel to Turkey, 14 percent said no to Belgium and another 14 percent said they would not visit Russia.
The Travel Leaders survey was conducted April 4-30 and includes responses from 3,431 consumers throughout the U.S.
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