Where are Romanians traveling in 2023? Travel trends & Destinations
The rising cost of living may be affecting the day-to-day spendings of Romanians, but their travel plans seem less affected, as 84.7% are planning to go on vacation despite inflation, according to a study by STEM/MARK ordered by Kiwi.com. The travel-tech company offers data about the main destinations and trends among Romanian tourists in 2023.
A lot of Romanians are already planning their vacations at the very beginning of the year, as searches for trips during January surged on Kiwi.com, hitting more than 9.6 million. The following months follow behind with over 4.2 million searches for trips in February, and over 2.3 million for March. So far, for travels during 2023, Romanians have made more than 21.6 million searches on the platform, with the most sought-after destinations being London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Barcelona.
The most popular countries among Romanians who use the platform are Italy, the UK, Spain, France and Germany, just as in 2022. The most popular destinations this year are London, Milan, Rome, Brussels and Barcelona (which replaced Paris from last year’s top 5). Romanians have regained trust in traveling, as the number of reservations for 2023 booked on Kiwi.com between December 1st 2022 and January 12th 2023 increased by 173% compared to the same period last year.
It seems that Romanians’ vacation plans are not that affected by the current economic situation, even though the prices for plane tickets have increased by 8% on average, but are still considerably lower – 25.5%, than they were in 2019.
Still, according to the survey made by STEM/MARK for Kiwi.com, when asked how they choose their next travel destination, 62.8% of Romanians interviewed said that the budget they have is important. According to the same study, 76.5% of Romanian travelers choose their next destination based on online research, 53.3% take recommendations from friends and family, 21.8% look on Facebook for inspiration and 17.5% on Instagram, while only 13.7% follow the recommendations of influencers who share their adventures on social media.
Not much has changed for Romanian travelers booking return flights, in terms of how many days they spend on vacation, with 46% staying up to 3 days at their destination, 29% between 4 and 6 days, while 19% stay on vacation for 1 to 2 weeks, similarly to 2022. In terms of booking habits, however, more Romanians are booking ahead: by 3 weeks to 2 months in advance (39%, compared to 34% in 2022), while the share of last-minute bookings made on Kiwi.com dropped from 12% last year to 8% for 2023.
Mario Gavira, VP of Growth at Kiwi.com shared some insights and advice for those looking to travel in 2023: “We are seeing that some of the major European LCC’s (low-cost carriers) who have significantly increased their capacity since Covid, launching aggressive fare promotions at the beginning of this year. These promotions are mainly targeted to ensure to fill their planes during Q1, which are traditionally rather weak periods in terms of travel demand. But it is also worth highlighting that some airlines are extending these promotions to the April to June travel period. This strategy is explained by ambitious growth targets of LCC’s and additional airplanes they are planning to bring in during 2023. Finding the best time to book tickets for 2023 very much depends on the route and travel dates the customer is searching. But as a general advice, the sooner customers book their tickets this year the more likely it is that they will get better prices, since we expect demand for air travel to remain strong and airline capacity limited, which will translate into gradual increases in prices the closer the customers book to their travel dates.”
At European level, the most popular destinations are Spain, Italy, the UK, Poland and France, with Romania making an appearance in the top 10. The most searches on Kiwi.com, however, were for London, Paris, Bangkok, New York and Barcelona.