Press release: 12.616-207/21

Number of holiday trips declined in the first half of 2021 despite upturn in the second quarter

Vienna, 2021-09-23 – According to Statistics Austria, the number of holiday trips with at least one overnight stay (including visiting family and friends) of the Austrian resident population (older than 15 years) decreased in the first half of 2021 by 14.4% to 4.41 million compared with the first half of 2020. Compared to pre-crisis level (first half of 2019: 9.76 million), the volume of holiday trips in the first half of 2021 is 54.8% lower.

"Tourism industry still has a long way to go to emerge from the Corona crisis. For example, the number of holiday trips in the first half of 2021 more than halved to -54.8% compared to the corresponding pre-crisis period in 2019. Particularly holiday trips abroad dropped dramatically by -73.5%, with domestic holidays down by 40.0%. Italy, Germany and Croatia were the most popular foreign destinations," says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The decline in the first half of 2021 is mainly due to the first quarter of 2021 (-62.7% compared to the first quarter of 2020; hard lockdown from mid-March to end of May); the second quarter of 2021 saw a 54.7%-increase to 3.27 million holiday trips. Similarly, the share of people with at least one holiday trip decreased by 18.4 percentage points to 8.8% in the first quarter of 2021, while the share increased by 7.4 percentage points to 26.6% in the second quarter of 2021. The number of business trips in the first half of 2021 stagnated at 0.89 million compared to the same period last year (2020: 0.89 million), but is still by 53.0% below the pre-crisis level (first half of 2019: 1.9 million).

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

In the first half of 2021, people residing in Austria spent almost three quarters (74.0% or 3.26 million) of their holiday trips in Austria. Before the Covid-Pandemic, in the first half of 2019, only slightly more than half (55.7%) of the holiday trips were spent domestically. Nevertheless, compared to the first half of 2020, domestic holiday trips recorded a 16.0%-decrease to 3.26 million, and compared to the first half of 2019, domestic holiday trips decreased by 40.0%.

The number of holiday trips abroad decreased by 9.8% to 1.15 million in the first half of 2021 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, the decrease compared to the first half of 2019 was even 73.5%. The most popular destination abroad in the first half of 2021 was Italy (28.6% of trips abroad), followed by Germany (16.8%) and Croatia (11.1%). The number of long-distance trips (holiday trips outside Europe and Turkey) was only 2.0% in the first half of 2021 (first half 2020: 13.6%; first half 2019: 9.8%).

Almost half of all holiday trips to visit family and friends

The most important travel motive in the first half of 2021 was by far visiting family and friends, with 45.6% of all holiday trips taken for this reason (first half of 2020: 37.0%, first half of 2019: 27.7%). The share of free of charge accommodation was correspondingly high: More than half (51.8%) of all holiday trips were spent with friends, family or at a secondary residence (same period 2020: 45.1%), for domestic trips the figure was as high as 62.9%. Less than one third (29.5%) of holiday trips were spent in hotels or similar establishments.

The travel motives also differ depending on the destination: For domestic holiday trips, the second most important travel motive – after visiting family and friends – was an active sports holiday (share of 19.0% of domestic holiday trips), while 18.1% sought recreation on holiday. The reasons for a holiday trip abroad – apart from visiting family and friends (43.4% of holiday trips abroad) – were beach and bathing holidays (17.5%).

More than three quarters of holiday trips taken by private car

Private cars continued to be the most frequently used mode of travel in the first half of 2021, accounting as the main mean of transport for 83.0% of domestic holiday trips and 65.3% of holidays abroad (2020: 83.2% of domestic holiday trips, 43.7% of holiday trips abroad; 2019: 77.7% of domestic holiday trips, 43.7% of holiday trips abroad). Air travel abroad accounted for 21.4% (2020: 34.4%, 2019: 37.6%).

Further information on the travel behaviour of the Austrian resident population can be found on our Website. On 27 September 2021 the topic of UNWTO's World Tourism Day focuses on "Tourism for inclusive growth", which is dealing with the social and economic impact of the current pandemic on tourism. 

Information on methods, definitions: Statistics Austria conducts quarterly surveys regarding the travel behaviour of individuals living in Austria aged 15 and older. Every quarter, 3 500 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) 1st half of 2019 to 2021
 1st half 20191st half 2020 (rev)1st half 2021Change to 2020 (in % resp. percentage points)Change to 2019 (in % resp. percentage points)
Duration of the holiday trip (in 1 000)
Short-term trip (1–3 nights)5 549.83 369.53 014.4-10.5-45,7
Main trip (4 and more nights)4 205.91 919.21 390.6-21.8-66,9
Total9 755.85 148.44 045.0-14.4-54.8
Duration of the holiday trip (share in %)
Short-term trip (1–3 nights)56.965.468.43.011.5
Main trip (4 and more nights)43.134.631.6-3.0-11.5
Quarter of depature (share in %)
1st quarter 42.158.925.7-33.2-16.4
2nd quarter57.941.174.333.216.4
Organization of the holiday trip (share in %)
Private75.786.589.83.314.1
Travel agency or tour operator24.313.510.2-3.3-14.1
Domestic holiday trips and holiday trips abroad (in 1 000)
Domestic trips5 432.53 877.13 258.2-16.0-40.0
Trips abroad4 323.31 271.31 146.9-9.8-73.5
Total9 755.85 148.44 405.0-14.4-54.8
Domestic holiday trips and holiday trips abroad (share in %)
Domestic trips55.775.374.0-1.318.3
Trips abroad44.324.726.01.3-18.3
Top holiday destinations abroad (share on all trips abroad in %; sorted by rank of first half of 2021)
Italy22.19.728.618.96.4
Germany17.021.616.8-4.8-0.2
Croatia8.75.911.15.22.4
Spain6.04.45.61.2-0.5
Turkey1.31.53.82.32.4
Slovenia2.43.43.70.31.3
Switzerland2.33.23.40.31.2
Hungary4.68.33.3-5.0-1.3
Greek3.90.23.23.0-0.7
Poland1.53.12.5-0.61.0
Long distance holiday2)9.813.62.0-11.6-7.8
Other destinations20.325.216.1-9.1-4.2

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:   
Peter LAIMER, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7849 resp. peter.laimer@statistik.gv.at    
Rebecka WURIAN, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7597 resp. rebecka.wurian@statistik.gv.at

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