Holidays in COVID-19 Times: Italians’ Summer

53% of Italians already cancelled travels and day trips planned before COVID-19 emergency, while 25% still have to decide whether to cancel their holidays planned for the upcoming months.

70% of Italians will spend their summer holidays at home: among other reasons, the fear of infection, the persisting travel restrictions, and economic limitations.

This is what the latest BVA Doxa research on opinions and predictions of Italians in COVID-19 times reveals: the third wave of the survey includes a focus on tourism.  

When the nice season starts, Italians usually start planning and organizing their summer. This year, due to the COVID-19 emergency, many plans need to be reconsidered: day trips, travels and holidays won’t be experienced in the same way we were used to.

This is what results from the latest BVA Doxa survey revealed. The survey aims at understanding the main impacts COVID-19 is having on the Italian population: the research was conducted on a representative sample of 1000 Italians between 3-7 April 2020, and it includes a focus on tourism. The study represents the third wave of a weekly observatory launched on the 20th of March which keeps gathering data on many topics while including new focuses every week.

CANCELLED TRAVELS: 53% OF ITALIANS CALL OFF THEIR HOLIDAYS –  Considering the governmental travel limitations, 53% of Italians cancelled holidays and day trips planned before the COVID-19 emergency. Many of them were planned for March and April (25% and 29% respectively), and 17% and 14% were planned for May and June respectively. The cancelled holidays, day trips and long weekends were mainly planned for national destinations: Italians would have spent their holidays in a different Italian region than their own. 1/3 of holidays were planned for European destinations and the remaining ones outside the European Union. The main mean of transport Italians would have used is the car (55%), followed by plane (35%), train (15%) and bus (7%).

PLANNING HOLIDAYS IN ITALY – One out of four Italians (25%) still have to decide whether to cancel the holidays and long weekends they planned for the upcoming months: 10% of these trips are planned in April, May, or during the first half of June, while 15% are planned for summer (second half of June, July and August). Even the holidays that are still not cancelled mainly entail domestic destinations: the majority of Italians would only travel to a different region than their own. European destinations account for ¼ of the planned holidays, while fewer trips entail extra-European destinations. Preferred means of transport are once again cars (48%) and planes (36%), while 16% choose to travel by train and 11% by ships. Among those who still need to decide what to do with their planned holiday, two out of three say they would like to re-schedule their trips in the future, while the remaining ones are thinking about cancelling it.

SPENDING SUMMER AT HOME – There are still many uncertainties on how the “phase 2 emergency” will be handled and on what it will entail: 70% of Italians are therefore expecting they won’t be able to go on holidays this year. Among them, 32% is calling off their holidays because they fear the risk of infection will still be high, while 25% admit they won’t be able to go on holidays because of the travel restrictions. A remaining 13% won’t afford to go on holidays due to economic limitations deriving from the emergency. There is still a number of Italians who expect to go on holiday (30%): among them, 18% will turn to closer destinations. Only 12% believes they will be able to go on holidays as usual.


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