Corrected version: 12.395-235/20

Travel habits summer 2020: less holiday trips abroad, Austria remains popular; every fourth holiday trip led to friends or relatives

Vienna, 2020-12-10 – Due to the travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of holiday trips undertaken by people living in Austria sunk by 16.8% to 5.9 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year's figure (third quarter 2019: 7.0 million holiday trips).

Thus, the number of main holiday trips with at least four overnight stays decreased by almost one third to 2.8 million (-31.2%) compared to the previous summer, while short-term holiday trips (1–3 nights spent) increased by 4,6% to 3.1 million. The ratio between short and main holiday trips was balanced out by this development (share of short-term holiday trips in 2020: 51.7%; 2019: 41.4%). While in the last decade mainly short-term domestic holiday trips used to increase, in summer 2020, the main domestic holiday trips experienced an upward trend (+48.6% to 1.7 million).

Older and younger travellers fell above average

Travellers declined by a fifth (-20.6%) to 3.4 million (2019: 4.2 million). While the travel intensity was 57.6% in the same period of last year, it was only 45.5% in the summer months of July, August and September 2020 (-12.1 percentage points). Looking at age groups, the travel intensity decreased the most in the age group 65+ (-15.8 percentage points to 23.7%) and among those aged 15 to 24 years (-14.0 percentage points to 55.6%).

Holiday trips abroad declined by more than half (-56.4%), domestic holiday trips increased by almost a third (+31.6%)

Domestic holiday trips increased by almost a third (+31.6%) to 4.2 million, while the number of holiday trips abroad decreased by more than half to 1.7 million (-56.4%; 2019: 3.8 million). Italy, the most popular foreign destination for holiday trips among the Austrian population, registered a decrease of 38.7% to 0.5 million holiday trips. The share of trips to Italy increased by 9,1 percentage points compared to the third quarter 2019 (share in all trips abroad 2020: 31.3%, 2019: 22.2%). Holiday trips to Germany recorded a decrease of 5.3% compared to the same period last year, while the share of holiday trips to Germany rose by 14.7 percentage points (share 2020: 27.3%; 2019: 12.6%). Croatia, which registered by almost three quarter less holiday trips (-72.9%), lost 5.2 percentage points (share 2020: 8.7%; 2019: 13.9%) and fell back to the third place.

"Active holidays" most important travel motive, followed by "visiting friends or relatives"

The most important travel motive of the Austrian resident population in summer 2020 was "active holidays" (2020: 28.6%, 2019: 17.4%), which for the first time displaced "recreation holidays" (2020: 21.3%, 2019: 19.5%) in the ranking of the most popular summer travel purposes from first to third place.

As in the summer of the previous year, "visiting friends or relatives" (+6.6 percentage points to 25.5%, 2019: 18.9%) came second. The share of "culture, sightseeing and city trips" decreased by 8.3 percentage points to 6.8% (2019: 15.1%), as well as the motive "beach and swimming holidays", which sunk by 7.6 percentage points to 11.0% (2019: 18.6%).

There were also significant changes in the choice of transport: More than three quarter of all holiday trips were made by car (2020: 79.4%; 2019: 63.9%), while the share of trips by air fell to 4.4% (2019: 19.7%).

Holiday trips were mainly organised without the support of travel agencies and tour operators in summer 2020 (83.0% of holiday trips in total; 77.6% of trips abroad).

For more information concerning travel habits of the Austrian population please refer to our website.

Information on methods, definitions: Statistics Austria conducts quarterly surveys regarding the travel habits of individuals living in Austria aged 15 and older. Every quarter, 3 000 representatively chosen respondents are interviewed by telephone, since 2020 also online. 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 population is available since 1969. The data concerning summer holidays refers to the months July, August and September.


Summer holiday trips 1) (July, August and September) 2019 and 2020
Share of persons aged 15 and older with at least one holiday trip (in %)
Domestic trips30.836.3
Trips abroad39.117.1
Holiday trips by duration (number of trips in 1 000)
Short-term trips (1-3 nights)2 914.43 049.1
Main trips (4 and more nights)4 129.42 842.9
Total7 043.85 892.0
Holiday trips by duration (share in %)
Short-term trips ( 1-3 nights)41.451.7
Main trips (4 and more nights)58.648.3
By month of departure (share in %)
Organisation of the trips (share in %)
Travel agency. tour operator27.217.0
Domestic trips and trips abroad (in 1 000)
Domestic trips3 204.04 217.0
Trips abroad3 839.81 675.0
Total7 043.85 892.0
Domestic trips and trips abroad (share in %)
Domestic trips45.571.6
Trips abroad54.528.4
Top destinations abroad (share in %)
Czech Republic3)3)
Long-distance trips 2)6.43)
Other destinations19,99,2

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 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777