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Foreign holiday travel ‘lowest in eight years’ within EU
Fewer Europeans are planning to go away for a summer holiday as economic austerity bites, a new study shows, with levels of foreign vacation travel at their lowest for eight years. Only 54% percent of Europeans are planning to get away for summer holiday this year, according to the Ipsos-Europ Assistance ‘holiday barometer’ published today. Europ Assistance Group CEO Martin Vial said there was "a clear correlation between the intensity of the slump and holiday intentions". Unsurprisingly the countries with the highest unemployment rates were the worst hit. "The scope of the crisis in Spain and Italy is particularly visible in departure plans," the report said, with fewer than one in two Spaniards planning to leave on holiday this summer and little more than half of Italians. Due to "less tense" economic and social situations the departure plans for Germans and Austrians had stabilised, according to the study.
The Internet and social networks are being used more than ever for vacation preparations, with the British holidaymakers most active on the Internet, followed by the Belgians, French and Germans. Ipsos conducted the study talking to a total of 4 048 Europeans from Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.