Pressemitteilung: 12.342-182/20

Holiday trips of Austrians dropped by almost half in the first six months of 2020

Vienna, 2020-10-13 – Due to corona-related restrictions, the travel activity of the Austrian resident population significantly decreased in the first half of 2020. According to Statistics Austria, the number of holiday trips with at least one overnight stay (including visits to relatives and friends) was nearly halved compared to the first six months of 2019 (-42.7% to 5.59 million). The decline is mainly due to the second quarter of 2020 (-61.3%), with domestic trips falling by 27.9% and trips abroad by even 91.2% in this quarter. The proportion of people with at least one holiday trip decreased in the first quarter of 2020 by 7.4 percentage points to 30.0%, in the second quarter of 2020 by 26.7 percentage points to 19.8%.

Austria most popular travel destination; half of the trips lead to Italy, Croatia and Germany

In the first half of 2020, people residing in Austria spent more than three quarters of their holiday trips (76.0% or 4.25 million) in Austria, which was a decrease of 21.8% compared to the first half of 2019. For short holiday trips between one and three overnight stays, the domestic share was 81.4%.

The number of holiday trips abroad decreased by 69% to 1.34 million in the first half of 2020 (short trips: -58.9%; main trips: -75.2%). The decline in holiday trips in the first half of 2020 was particularly marked for popular international destinations like Germany (-60.2%), Hungary (-28.9%), Italy (-86.4%) and Croatia (-79.0%). The number of long-distance trips (holiday trips outside Europe and Turkey) decreased by 57.6% to 179.000.

More than one third of holiday trips to visit family and friends

Due to Easter, the proportion of visits to relatives and friends during this travel period is traditionally very high and was also the most important travel motive in the first six months of 2020: 38.8% of all holiday trips abroad were made for this reason (first half of 2019: 21.9%), for domestic trips this share was 35.1% (first half of 2019: 32.3%). The proportion of free accommodation was correspondingly high: 44.1% of all holiday trips were spent with friends or family or at second homes (first half of 2019: 29.8%), for domestic holiday trips the share was even 45.6%. 40.8% of the holiday trips were spent in hotels or similar establishments.

Furthermore, travel motives differ depending on the destination: For domestic holiday trips, the second most important travel motive after visiting friends and family was sportive activity holidays (33.1%), 14.1% looked for recreation, 4.2% chose wellness and beauty. The main reasons for travelling abroad – apart from visits to family and friends – were cultural trips (20.9%) and sportive activity holidays (9.5%).

Private car most frequently used for travelling

In the first half of 2020, the private car was still the most frequently used means of transport for travel: 83.3% of domestic trips and 48.9% of holiday trips abroad were made by car. The proportion of vacations for which people travelled by car is thus higher than in the same period of the previous year (77.7% of domestic trips and 43.7% of trips abroad). The share of air travel abroad decreased from 37.6% to 33.7%, especially in favor of travelling by car (increase from 43.7% to 48.9%). The number of flights abroad fell by almost three quarters (-72.2%).

Further information on the travel behaviour of the austrian resident population can be found on our website.


Information on methods, definitions: Statistics Austria conducts quarterly surveys regarding the travel behaviour of individuals living in Austria aged 15 and older. Every quarter, 3 000 representatively chosen respondents are interviewed by telephone (CATI) and online (CAWI). The participation in the survey is voluntary. The selection framework for the proportionally stratified sample is the Central Register of Residence. The collected information concerns data on holiday and business trips with at least one night spent and same-day trips. Data regarding the travel habits of the Austrian resident population is available since 1969.

Holiday Trips1) first half of 2019 and 2020
 First half 2019First half 2020Change (in %)
Duration of the holiday trip (in 1 000)
Short-term trip (1–3 nights)5 549.83 666.3-33.9
Main trip (4 and more nights)4 205.91 919.2-54.4
Total9 755.85 587.5-42.7
Duration of the holiday trip (share in %)
Short-term trip (1–3 nights)56.965.7 
Main trip (4 and more nights)43.134.3 
Month of depature (share in %)
1st quarter 42.161.0 
2nd quarter57.939.0 
Organisation of the holiday trip (share in %)
Travel agency or tour operator24.313.6 
Domestic trips and trips abroad (in 1 000)
Domestic trips5 432.54 245.5-21.8
Trips abroad4 323.31 342.0-69.0
Total9 755.85 587.5-42.7
Domestic trips and trips abroad (share in %)
Domestic trips55.776.0 
Trips abroad44.324.0 
Top destinations abroad (share on all trips abroad in %; sorted by rank of first half of 2020)
Czech Republic2.53.3 
Great Britain2.63.1 
Long distance holiday2)9.813.3 
Other destinations18.823.6 

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria: 
Peter LAIMER, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7849 resp. 
Rebecka WURIAN, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7597 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Wien, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 (1) 71128-7777