One out of four Europeans plan to travel to Spain this year

by Lorraine Williamson
European holiday makers to Spain

Spain remains one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations. In fact, one in four European travellers say they plan to take a trip to Spain this summer. In doing so, they also indicate that they could spend more money.

This is according to a new report from the hotel company Accor, which analyses the travel plans of travellers within Europe for this year.

The report is based on a survey of 8,000 travellers in seven European countries (UK, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy). It reveals that more than half of them, 54%, believe they will have more money to spend on travel in 2024 than they did in 2023. However, on the other hand, 11% say they have less to spend.

Poles are the most confident in their ability to spend money on travel in 2024 compared to 2023, with 64% expecting an increase in budget compared to 7% expecting a decrease. Germans follow (61%, compared to 13%). Even in Italy, the most conservative of the seven countries surveyed, 44% of travellers expect an increase in the budget compared to 12% who expect a decrease.

More trips

The number of holiday trips abroad that Europeans expect to make is slightly higher than last year. Working patterns are becoming more flexible and employers are increasingly willing to allow their employees to travel more freely. Consequently, one in five European travellers (19%) expect to take at least one relaxing trip by 2024.

Spain: the number one hotspot

Southern European hotspots remain the preferred locations for European travellers. One in four (23%) plan to travel to Spain this year. This is followed by Italy (18%), France (16%), Portugal and Greece (13%). Outside of Europe, 16% of European travellers plan to travel to North or Central America this year and the same percentage to Asia.

Cost control

Although spending is rising across the board, cost control is at the top of travellers’ agendas. The vast majority (87%) are taking steps to reduce costs due to inflation and the rising cost of living. This concerns, for example, the choice of more affordable accommodation (27%).

Climate awareness

Seven out of ten travellers (71%) say sustainability is important in their travel decisions. Among the European countries in the sample, Italian travellers are the most aware of the sustainability component in travel, at 82%. This is followed by Spain (78%) and Poland (77%), with British travellers behind them (61%).

Three out of four travellers (77%) say climate concerns will have a real impact on their travel or booking behaviour. Actions they will take include;

Cogesa Expats
  • travelling less frequently (11%)
  • flying less (14%)
  • actively seeking out sustainable accommodation providers or tour operators (10%)

However, despite their good intentions, travellers recognise that there are obstacles that prevent them from making sustainable travel choices. For example, cost (38% of respondents), and lack of information (23%). 17% of European travellers say they will travel alone in 2024 and 9% say they plan to take their pet with them on their trip.

Longer high season

Climate change is also partly contributing to another trend: avoiding peak seasons. One in three respondents in Europe (32%) say they go on holiday outside the peak season to cut costs, while one in five (19%) expect to do so to avoid the risk of heatwaves, such as the one in southern Europe last summer.

For some warm-weather destinations, for example in Spain, the tourist season could be extended as a result.


The report also shows that travellers mainly follow recommendations from friends and family about where they go on vacation. 35% say their recommendations influence their vacation plans, followed by 29% who are influenced by comments and reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor or hotel websites. One in six (16%) admit to being influenced by destinations they’ve seen on TV shows or movies.

Set-jetting’, the trend of going on holiday to filming locations for TV series or movies, has become popular due to the influx of visitors to landscapes made famous in series such as White Lotus or Game of Thrones. 12% of respondents are influenced by destinations they have seen on social media, the same percentage who are influenced by advice from a travel agency.


Hotels are the most popular type of holiday accommodation among European travellers, with two-thirds (65%) planning to stay in hotels by 2024. When choosing a hotel, the cost and location are the most important factors. However, travellers are also attracted to hotels that offer good personalised service. No less than 21% cite this as an important factor when booking a stay. Other factors that play a role in booking are good food and drinks (37%), a good atmosphere (17%).

36% of respondents say it’s important for them to immerse themselves in the local cultures and communities they visit on vacation and 13% want to feel like they’re making a positive contribution to the destination.

Extraordinary activities during the holidays

In terms of extraordinary activities, 9% of travellers will be guided by food and drinks, such as a wine tasting or a food festival. 9% book around a music event; and 6% around a sporting event.

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