Summer travel habits revealed


After a dip in 2016, more travellers from the US and Europe will be packing their bags and heading on a vacation this summer, according to an annual consumer survey conducted by Generali Global Assistance. The survey, in its 17th year, found that 66 per cent of Americans plan to travel this summer, up five percentage points from 2016. That compares to 63 per cent of Europeans who will travel this summer, which is an increase of nine percentage points from last year.

The survey noted that although more people are travelling, they are doing so for a shorter duration. Americans will go on vacation this summer for an average of 1.4 weeks, down from 1.7 weeks in 2016. Europeans saw an even more precipitous drop, from an average of 2.4 weeks in 2016 to 1.9 weeks this year. Brazilians checked in with the longest average duration in 2017 at 2.2 weeks.  

While the seaside is the favourite destination of European travellers at 63 per cent, the most sought-after location for US travellers this summer will be cities at 46 per cent. For Americans, the beach ranked number two on the list of favourite destinations at 43 per cent, followed by the mountains (46 per cent), the countryside (24 per cent), and touring (23 per cent). Spain ranked as the highest in terms of European countries where travellers showed a penchant for urban travel at 43 per cent, an increase of 16 percentage points over 2016. For Americans, Paris ranked as the top city that travellers wished to visit at least once in their lives, with New York City and London tying for second. For Europeans, the top choice was New York City with Paris and Rome rounding out the top three.

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance North America, commented on other findings from the study relating to travel insurance: “Americans who plan to travel this summer indicated that when they travel, they are typically covered by some form of insurance protection policy for risks such as lost or stolen baggage (59 per cent), medical coverage for themselves or family (69 per cent), vehicle breakdowns (70 per cent), or a transportation accident (64 per cent). They are less likely to have policies that cover a transportation strike (33 per cent) or the risk of a natural disaster (37 per cent). Interestingly, the most common reason given for not buying travel insurance was that they didn’t think to do so. For those purchasing insurance, the number one way they will do so is through their credit card companies. While this is a completely viable way, there are also a lot of misconceptions about travel insurance that persists in the marketplace – one being the level of coverage that plans that may be included with your credit cards provide. I would encourage all travellers to take a close look at their policies wherever they purchase them and make sure that they are inclusive of everything they may need on their trip.”