Press release: 12.506-097/21

Holiday trips declined by almost the half in 2020; declines related to holiday trips abroad significantly higher than for domestic trips

Vienna, 2021-05-04 – The number of holiday trips (including visits to friends and relatives) decreased significantly in 2020 due to restrictive measures concerning travelling. According to Statistics Austria, 21.2 million holiday trips were undertaken by the Austrian population (older than 15 years) in 2019, in 2020 with 12.0 million, almost half less (-43.3%). This means that the number of holiday trips dropped almost to the level of 2000, when 13.9 million vacation trips were recorded. Business trips fell by 55.7% to 1.6 million (2019: 3.6 million).

"The pandemic has significantly restricted the travel options of the Austrian resident population: In 2020 holiday trips declined by almost half compared to the previous year. Holiday trips abroad declined by more than two thirds, while domestic holiday trips only declined by a fifth", according to Statistics Austria General Director Tobias Thomas.

The number of holiday travelers (aged 15 and over) declined by more than one fifth (-22.1%) to 4.5 million (2019: 5.8 million). This corresponds to a travel intensity of 60.3%, in the previous year it was 77.8% (-17.5 percentage points). Broken down by age group, travel intensity decreased most in the age group 65+ (-24.7 percentage points to 35.9%).

The number of main holiday trips carried out with at least four overnight stays fell by half (-50.1%) to 4.9 million, which is roughly the same as in 1990 (5.2 million). The decline in short vacation trips (with up to three overnight stays) was more than a third (-37.4%) to 7.1 million.

Holiday trips abroad declined by more than two thirds, domestic holiday trips only by one fifth

Due to international travel restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic the number of holiday trips abroad decreased by more than two thirds (-68.2%) to 3.2 million (2019: 10.1 million). On the other hand, the number of domestic holiday trips only decreased by one fifth (-20.8%) to 8.8 million (2019: 11.1 million). Thus the proportion of domestic holiday trips increased to 73.4% (2019: 52.5%).

Most holiday trips abroad in 2020 went to Germany

In 2020, 0.8 million holiday trips went to Germany, which is the first time that most of the holidays trips abroad went to Germany. 0.7 million holiday trips led to Italy, 0.2 million to Croatia. The share of holiday trips to Germany in all trips abroad rose by 7.0 percentage points (share in 2020: 23.6%; 2019: 16.6%). The share of trips to Italy, on the other hand, increased only slightly by 0.7 percentage points (share of all holiday trips abroad 2020: 21.6%, 2019: 20.9%), while the share of trips to Croatia fell by 2.5 percentage points compared to the previous year (2020: 7.1%; 2019: 9.6%).

A quarter fewer holiday travelers in summer 2020; domestic holiday popular

The summer of 2020 was characterised by travel restrictions: Overall, the number of holiday travelers in July, August and September 2020 decreased by almost one fourth (24.6%) to 3.2 million (2019: 4.2 million) people. While the travel intensity was 57.6% in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, it was only 43.2% (-14.4 percentage points) in the summer months of July, August and September 2020. Domestic holiday trips increased by 18.7% to 3.8 million, while the number of holiday trips abroad more than halved by 57.3% to 1.6 million (2019: 3.8 million).

Every third holiday trip to visit friends and family

The most important travel motive of the Austrian resident population in 2020 was visiting friends and relatives (2020: 33.5%, 2019: 25.5%); followed by "activity holiday" (+7.1 percentage points to 25.5%, 2019: 18.4%) and "recreation holiday" with 17.4% (2019: 16.1%). The share of "cultural visit, city trip, sightseeing holiday" decreased by 9.1 percentage points to 6.6% (2019: 15.7%).

Hotels and similar accommodation establishments were also chosen in 2020 most frequently as the type of accommodation for holiday trips (2020: 42.8%), but lost shares (2019: 54.2%) in favor of free accommodation with friends and relatives or at the second homes (2020: 39.8%, 2019: 28.5%).

There were also significant changes in the modal split: more than three quarters of all holiday trips were made by car (2020: 77.1%, 2019: 63.9%), the proportion of holiday trips by plane went down to 6.5% - and thus back to the level of the 1980s (2019: 19.7%).

3.0 million non-travelers in 2020, safety concerns first

This year again the reasons not to travel were surveyed, whereby more than one reason could be named of the 3.0 million non-travelers. For the first time, safety concerns (48.9% of responses; 2019: 6.6%) were mentioned most frequently. As in previous years nearly half (44.3%) of the responses were "no interest to travel" (2019: 45.5%). One fourth (25.3%) of the population cited "health reasons or reduced mobility" (2019: 29.4%), 17.6% "Work or study commitments"(2019: 24.4%), 15.2% "family commitments"(2019: 26.6%) and only 12.1% cited "financial reasons" (2019: 23.4%).

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

Information on methods: 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 (CATI), since 2020 online as well (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 population is available since 1969.


Holiday und business trips1) 2019 und 2020
Share of persons aged 15 and older with at least one holiday trip (in %)
Share of persons aged 15 and older with at least one business trip (in %)
Holiday and business trips (in 1 000)  
Holiday21 207.512 023.8
Business3 629.91 607.8
Total24 837.413 631.6
Domestic holiday trips and holiday trips abroad (in 1 000)
Domestic holiday trips11 130.88 820.1
Holiday trips abroad10 076.83 203.7
Total21 207.512 023.8
Domestic holiday trips and holiday trips abroad (share in %)
Domestic holiday trips52.573.4
Holiday trips abroad47.526.6
Holiday trips by duration of stay (in 1 000)
Short-term trips (1-3 nights)11 323.97 093.5
Main trips (4 and more nights)9 883.74 930.3
Total21 207.512 023.8
Holiday trips by duration of stay (share in %)
Short-term trips (1-3 nights)53.459.0
Main trips (4 and more nights)46.641.0
Organisation of Holiday trips (share in %)
Travel Agency, Tour Operator24.915.0
Main travel motives (share in %)
Visit to friends and/or relatives26.733.5
Activity Holiday18.425.5
Recreation Holiday16.117.4
Cultural visit, city trip, sightseeing holiday15.7
Beach and bathing holiday9.66.6
Top 5 holiday destinations abroad (share in %)

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. 

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