Summer vacations begin this week in four German states. most vacationers will travel by car this year, as a civey survey for tagesspiegel background shows. One age group is surprisingly car-friendly.
In the past few corona months, there has been a lot of speculation about a possible renaissance of the car and individual transportation in everyday life. if you ask germans what mode of transport they plan to use for their travels this year, the answer is clear: by car. It was popular in previous years anyway, but in 2020 even more people will be getting into their own vehicles (or rental cars) to reach their vacation destinations.
A survey conducted by the opinion research institute civey on behalf of tagesspiegel background shows that almost 70 percent of those surveyed who will be traveling this summer will be doing so by car. For families with children, the share is a good 75 percent. Nearly one-fifth plan to use a different mode of transportation for their summer vacation this year than in previous years. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, who generally travel less by car on vacation, it’s even more than a third.
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civey figures from previous years are not available, but a comparison with the long-term statistics of the travel association DRV shows that 2020 will be an exceptional year. According to DRV data, the share of air travel in vacation travel climbed from 30 percent to 42 percent between 2000 and 2019. The share of the car fell from 55 to 43 percent in the same period. In the corona year 2020, the trend is now apparently turning, the car as a supposed shelter from infections is becoming more important again as a means of travel.
Boom leads to even longer traffic jams
"In 2020, there will be a boom in travel by car or caravan," said ADAC board member dieter nirschl during a webcast. But it remains to be seen whether this will become a long-term trend. Nirschl wants to spend his private vacation in croatia – and arrive by car.
Boom also means more traffic jams on the highways this summer. On the already congested peak travel days, the lines are likely to get even longer than in the past. The German automobile club ADAC recommends that travelers inform themselves in good time on the club’s relevant Internet pages.
Among the 2,500 people surveyed by civey, it was mainly the younger people aged 18 to 29 who wanted to switch to a different mode of transport this year than in the previous year (35 percent). Just under 59 percent of them mentioned the car, only around 17 percent the plane, and the train accounted for a good 22 percent.
Because long-distance travel tends to be postponed and vacationers are hesitant about flying abroad, destinations that can be reached by car are moving closer. the tourism industry advertises "flexibility and independence". "bookings with own arrival have always had a great value," says a tui spokeswoman. This year, however, the range of accommodation on offer is "as large as ever.
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Tui records run on car trips
Germany is the number one vacation destination," said norbert Kunz, managing director of the german tourism association, on the ADAC webcast. Kunz says he will take a private "car tour of germany, austria and switzerland" this summer. This is in line with the trend. in 2019, 45 percent of car trips went to germany, twelve percent to italy and nine percent to austria, according to the vacation and travel research association (FUR).
the tui group, which has been hard hit by the corona crisis, has 2,300 accommodations in its program that can be reached by car in this country alone. "there is a rush especially to destinations on the coasts, in the bavarian alps or mecklenburg-vorpommern," says the spokeswoman. But also austria or croatia are booked with own travel, even northern italy, which was badly affected by the pandemic, is reviving again according to tui.
Memories of the economic miracle years
Instead of luring visitors with far-eastern exoticism, the advertising is down-to-earth: "take a deep breath in the mountains, relax on the beaches of the north and Baltic seas and enjoy la dolce vita on one of the lakes in northern italy," says tui. Among older customers, this brings back memories of the economic miracle years, when many people took their first car of their own – preferably a VW Beetle – on a trip of longing: across the Alps to italy. According to Civey, 74 percent of people over 65 want to travel by car this year.
According to norbert kunz, two-thirds of germans are not taking any vacation this year because of the corona crisis, or are still unsure of their plans. sales in germany’s tourism industry would therefore plummet in 2020. In the months of march, april and may alone, the losses amounted to around 35 billion euros, according to kunz.