With national inflation rates increasing dramatically in recent months across Europe, the purchasing of cheaper tourism related products and services has allowed many European travelers to satisfy their desire of holidaying abroad while ensuring they can make ends meet back at home.
This level of inflation would be expected to severely dampen demand for international travel. However, stories of packed airports across Europe continue to emerge, demonstrating that the pandemic induced demand for international travel is still present even with inflation squeezing levels of disposable income.
The UK’s inflation rate has shown similar stark increases to the Eurozone in recent months. However, demand is still present for international travel across all social grades. New survey shown below found that even in the less affluent social band of ‘DE’, one in five respondents (20.8%) stated that they are still planning to travel internationally this summer, with consumers in this category set to be impacted the most by inflation.
A significant portion of European travelers in less affluent social bands will still be able to travel by trading down in terms of the travel related products and services they purchase in the ‘pre’ and ‘during’ stages of a trip. This will certainly play into the hands of companies that already target budget travelers.
For example, travelers that usually stay in midscale hotels may now lean towards budget forms of accommodation to keep costs down for their main summer holiday. This could play into the hands of low-cost providers such as Airbnb. With hosts likely feeling the pinch of inflation themselves, they may actually lower their prices to ensure occupancy is maximized during peak season and to remain competitive.
The impact of inflation across Europe will no doubt extend the recovery timelines of travel and tourism companies. However, the strong desire of travelers to continue traveling as a period of economic downturn looms will be facilitated by trading down, with cheaper products and services being prioritized to counteract the impact of inflation.