Ipsos / Europ Assistance barometer Europeans Plans and Concerns for the Holidays Summary Ipsos for the Europ Assistance Group May 24th 2012

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1 Ipsos / Europ Assistance barometer Europeans Plans and Concerns for the Holidays Summary Ipsos for the Europ Assistance Group May 24th 2012 Contacts Ipsos Public Affairs: Fabienne SIMON Austragésila EVORA

2 Technical presentation of the Ipsos / Europ Assistance barometer Europeans Plans and Concerns for the Holidays On behalf of Europ Assistance, Ipsos conducted a survey among a sample of 3,523 Europeans aged 18 years and over (French German, British, Italian, Spanish, Belgian and Austrian), from February 13 th to March 26 th The survey was conducted by phone, at the home of the people questioned and using the quota method (gender, age, profession of head of household) after stratification by region and by size of agglomeration. On the eve of the 2012 holiday season, the objective of this study is to evaluate holiday plans among citizens of the countries concerned, their motivations, along with the destinations and types of stay they opt for. The Ipsos / Europ Assistance Europeans Plans and Concerns for the Holidays barometer also aims to evaluate the risks perceived by tourists, and their impression of being covered in relation to those risks. This year, given the economic and financial context linked to the European economic crisis, the group wanted to explore the way choices are made between the various budget expenditure items: clothing, transport, food, leisure activities, technologies and of course, holidays. 2

3 I. To leave or not to leave on summer holiday, an increasingly marked split In 2012, Europeans plans to go away on holiday recorded a record drop: the significant reduction in multiple departures is not compensated for by single departures This year, fewer than 3 Europeans out of 5 (58%) plan to leave on holiday at least once this year (between June and September inclusive). The effects of the crisis are finally being felt in relation to departure plans, with this score representing 8 points less than last year (66%), the lowest ever reached in the barometer (the record was 60% in 2006). While all Europeans are impacted, this change in behaviour is more marked in the countries where the economic and social situation is more uncertain: this is notably the case for the Italians (63% departure plans as opposed to 78% last year, i.e. 15 points less), the Spanish (51% as opposed to 65%, i.e. 14 points less) and the British (51% as opposed to 61%, i.e. 10 points less). Multiple departures are suffering the most from the current bad economic and social context. The privilege of going away several times is now reserved for 17% of Europeans (-8 points compared to 2011). This is particularly true for the Italians and Spanish, 18% and 10% of whom respectively plan to go away several times this year, as opposed to 37% and 26% last year. On the other hand, the French seem to be more optimistic. Although a smaller proportion than in 2011 are considering multiple departures (15% as opposed to 20% in 2011), their plans to leave at least once in the summer have not wavered this year (70% as opposed to 68%). In the end, plans to go away once are not affected, and are stable compared to last year (41%) but also to the entire period. Departure plans per country for the period June to September 2012 inclusive Yes, several times Yes, once S/T Yes Change compared to 2011 ALL 17% 41% 58% -8 points France 15% 54% 70% +2 points Italy 18% 45% 63% -15 points Austria 18% 40% 59% -5 points Belgium 16% 44% 59% -2 points Germany 15% 39% 55% -5 points UK 26% 25% 51% -10 points Spain 10% 41% 51% -14 points 3

4 Holidays, a budget item that is also subject to reductions Almost 1 European out of 7 (13%) mentioned holidays as being a budget item they have already saved money on, or plan to do so. Holidays are less impacted than clothing, which comes out on top of Europeans list (17%) but impacted on the same level as spending on games, technological or cultural products (14%). But the reduction in spending linked to holidays affects Europeans unequally. The proportion of those wanting to limit this budget item is greater for the Spanish and Italians (respectively 20% and 17%) while for the Germans, it remains more marginal (8%). For the British on the other hand, holidays are the first item subjected (now or in the future) to trade-offs (14%) ahead of clothing (12%) and spending on transport (10%). In the end, food and health seem to be the only items that all Europeans are unwilling to compress.. First answer Total n=3,523 n=510 n=500 n=513 n=500 n=500 n=500 n=500 Clothing 17% 17% 14% 12% 20% 24% 16% 17% Games / technological or cultural products 14% 19% 13% 6% 12% 22% 16% 10% Holidays 13% 10% 8% 14% 20% 17% 13% 12% Outings / leisure 11% 12% 6% 9% 23% 12% 15% 5% Transport / car 10% 12% 11% 10% 5% 8% 7% 10% Food 4% 5% 4% 7% 2% 1% 3% 5% Health 1% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% When holidays are not placed in competition, most Europeans (45%) claim that summer holidays are an item they want to save money on, savings that can be limited or significant. In the same proportion, Europeans are split between giving up on holidays (20%) or not touching this item (24%). Among future holidaymakers (people claiming to plan to get away on holiday at least once this summer), the trend towards savings is now found among a majority (53%) but the share of respondents displaying more conservative behaviour is higher than among the European population as a whole; 32% claim that during a crisis period, summer holidays are an item they don t want to touch. The Spanish, British and Italians on the other hand are less optimistic than the average, respectively 31%, 23% and 18%. 4

5 II. Within this context, Europeans are adopting different behaviours regarding the 2012 holiday budget Europeans are anticipating spending levels comparable to last year While a majority of Europeans planning to leave on holiday this summer claim that the holidays are an item they want to save money on (53%), just as many of them state that they intend to spend as much as in 2011 (50%); the others tend to be split between spending more (24%) or spending less (22%). The inflationary tensions observed in all countries since 2011 bring a nuance to the latter claims however. According to countries, the orientation is more or less pessimistic. Indeed, a larger share of Italians and Spaniards consider that they will spend less than in 2011; respectively 32% and 37%. While more Germans than average want to spend more (28% as opposed to only 12% who intend to spend less). The economic and financial health of each of these countries logically plays a role in these differences in perception. Europeans 2012 holiday budget is maintained at a level equivalent to 2011 While holiday plans on a European level are on a very downward trend, for future holidaymakers, the budget devoted to holidays (covering transport, accommodation, food, leisure activities, etc.) is stable: 2,125 euros, i.e. 20 less than in However, this situation covers contrasting situations according to country. While the budget is rising in certain countries its growth continues in Germany (+229 ), has risen considerably in France (+164 ) and is recovering in Spain (+74 ) on the contrary it is dropping in Austria 165 ), Belgium (- 198 ) and Italy (-554 ). In the United Kingdom (+8 ) it is comparable to last year s figure. Italy now joins Spain under the 2,000 bar. So for Europeans in 2012, the question is clearly to leave or not to leave, with a record contraction in plans to go away. For future holidaymakers on the other hand, the essential aspects, and notably the intended budget, seem to be preserved on the whole. 5

6 III. On the other hand, there has been no fundamental change in the behaviour of holidaymakers compared to previous years Destinations and choice criteria are closely linked to current events but also to Europeans deep-rooted habits Europeans planning to go away on holiday this year show a slightly greater preference for short stays (one week and under): 37% (+2 points) think they will leave for a week or less. Hence, the gap between this and medium stay plans (two weeks) is thus non-existent this year since 37% (-1 point) of Europeans plan to leave for two weeks. We find levels similar to the pre-crisis period (2007) where 39% of Europeans thought they would leave for two weeks and 38% for a stay of one week and less. This trend is present in all the countries but above all in Belgium, France and the UK. Indeed, a higher proportion of Belgians claim to be willing to opt for short stays - 32% (+9 points) think they will leave for one week or less to the detriment of long stays (18%, -10 points). The French and British for their part are opting more for one-week stays to the detriment of two-weeks stays: 24% (c.f. 20% in 2011) of the French and 32% (c.f. 26% in 2011) of the British will leave for one week whereas respectively 29% (-8 points) and 38% (-4 points) of them will leave for two weeks. Total duration of summer stays Less than 1 week 1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks and more ALL 7% 30% 37% 14% 12% France 5% 24% 29% 20% 22% Germany 8% 26% 42% 15% 7% UK 5% 32% 38% 13% 12% Spain 6% 31% 35% 10% 17% Italy 7% 40% 33% 9% 10% Belgium 6% 26% 48% 12% 6% Austria 11% 35% 37% 12% 4% The factors of choice of destination for their part remain similar to last year, with the budget dedicated to holidays and climate being the biggest for Europeans. However, the tension in households over recent months has put budget back in the forefront as a factor in the choice of destination: for 44% (+4 points) of Europeans it is an essential factor, ahead of the climate (42%, +1 point) and risks of a terrorist attack (42%, stable). Apart from the change observed in relation to budget, all the choice factors remain comparable to last year. Sensitivity to terrorist attacks, social unrest and health risks, which increased strongly last year, are thus maintained at a high level. 6

7 This trend has evolved in the opposite direction in the UK, where the risks of a terrorist attack and social unrest are dropping: respectively they play an essential role for 34% (-10 points) and 25% (-16 points) of Britons. In detail, the holiday budget returns to the forefront to the detriment of the climate for the French and Italians. It has regained importance for the Austrians and Belgians, although it is not the most important factor for these citizens: it plays an essential role for 47% of Austrians (+10 points), behind the risks of social unrest (48%), and for 34% of Belgians (+10 points), behind health risks (39%). Hierarchy of choice factors according to countries ( essential answers) % «Essential» 1 st factor 2 nd factor 3 rd factor ALL Risks of terrorist attack Climate France Risks of a terrorist attack The climate Germany Risks of a terrorist attack Risks of social unrest United Kingdom The climate Risks of a terrorist attack Spain Risks of a terrorist attack Health risks Italy The climate Risks of a terrorist attack Belgium The climate Risks of a terrorist attack Health risks Austria The climate Risks of a terrorist attack The possibilities of leisure or cultural activities Europe is still viewed by a majority as the destination for the summer holidays: 79% (stable) of Europeans plan to stay on the continent for the 2012 summer holidays. This year, France once again becomes the tourist destination most sought-after by Europeans (20% as opposed to 17% last year), ahead of Italy (18% as opposed to 21%) and Spain (14% as opposed to 16%). Moreover, almost half of Europeans (48%, +1 point) are opting for national tourism this year, an upward trend among the French and Austrians: 67% (+7 points) of French people will spend their holidays in their own country and 26% (+6 points) of Austrians. In Austria, this withdrawal is to the detriment of departures to Southern countries (48% c.f. 52% in 2011). Destinations outside Europe remain marginal: 4% of Europeans plan to leave to North America, 3% to Africa, 2% to Asia or the Pacific countries and only 1% to Latin American or the Caribbean. 7

8 In detail, the recent events in North Africa and the Middle East seem to be having a varying affect on the behaviour of Europeans. For those who have already visited these regions or intend to go there (35% of Europeans), we observed very split opinions: less than one third (31%) plan to go to North Africa and the Middle East for their summer holiday, given the recent events. And while two-thirds do not think they will go to these countries, only half of these mentioned current events. This particularly applies to the Germans and Austrians however who are more sensitive to the current events in these regions: respectively 47% and 40% claimed to have no plans to go there due to the events underway. The purpose of holidays and their organisation have not been altered: Europeans prepare ahead of time to find restful and seaside destinations The general organisation of holidays is also similar to last year. Europeans are keeping a degree of independence in the organisation of their holidays since 71% (stable) claim that they will start to prepare their holidays in advance as opposed to 27% (-1 point) who will decide at the last minute. A greater proportion of Britons are organising ahead of time this year (75%, +6 points), however the Germans are still at the top of the ranking: 81% (+4 points) of them prefer to organise their summer holiday ahead of time. On the other hand, given an uncertain environment in the Southern countries, the Italians are more inclined this year to want to decide on their destination at the last minute (41% c.f. 31% in 2011). Europeans are also more likely to organise their trip themselves, buying separate services (69%, -2 points) as opposed to the purchase of all-in packages (26%, -1 point). This is notably true for the French (74%) and Austrians (72%). Stability is also the rule as concerns the types of accommodation chosen, with Europeans preferring rentals hotel rooms, bed and breakfast and apartment (69%, -2 points) to stays in a second home (21%, -2 points) or camping caravanning (1%, -1 point). Rest is still sought after by the majority of Europeans. Indeed, the ideal holidays are primarily holidays that are peaceful and restful - 61% (stable) make rest their main source of desire for these summer holidays preferred over discovery holidays (36%, -2 points), and whatever the country of origin. However, the French are more likely than the average to want discovery as a priority: 43% made this claim. This trend is especially carried by a desire for a total change of scenery (36%). Holidays are still motivated as much by a desire for rest as by a preference for the seaside. Indeed, 62% (-3 points) of Europeans plan to leave mainly to the seaside in This choice is made at the expense of touring trips (18%, stable), stays in the mountains (16%, -1 point) or in the countryside (15%, -1 point), which were still mentioned at a low level. Despite a slight erosion this year in France, Belgium and the UK, the citizens of these countries still envisage the seaside as the main destination for their holiday: that is the case for 56% (-7 points) of French people, 54% (-7 points) of Belgians and 45% (-8 points) of Britons. 8

9 IV. Risks and risk coverage Europeans seem less and less concerned about risks While very concerned about purchasing power, unemployment, growth etc., Europeans seem less and less concerned about problems outside this economic and financial sphere; all the risks record dropping scores this year. Europeans main fears still remain very much centred on the individual, and particularly on health problems: 46% (-1 point) are very concerned about a health problem concerning them or someone accompanying them and 44% (-2 points) are very concerned about a healthy problem concerning someone in their family who is not accompanying them. The British alone have other priority concerns: 35% (+8 points) of them are very concerned about the loss of their personal belongings. This fear has also gained importance for the Belgians (33% c.f. 26% in 2011). On the other hand, the French expressed much higher levels of fear about all criteria, notably the risks of a terrorist attack (33%, +5 points c.f. 2011). Europeans, less concerned, and slightly less covered The drop in Europeans concerns is reflected in risk coverage. Indeed, Europeans are generally less covered than they were in 2011, with the heaviest drops recorded in relation to a problem concerning the home (60%, -5 points) and a vehicle breakdown (59%, -5 points). Within this context of a downward trend, the French are more covered for risks of a terrorist attack (35%, +9 points c.f. 2011), since they are more concerned, and a strike or transport delay (31%, +8 points). The gap between the level of concern and the level of coverage continues to exist, and this applies to most risks. Ipsos Public Affairs 9

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