The Swiss want to make up for missed overseas holidays

May 30, 2022.

For two years, the Swiss had to be flexible when it came to planning their summer holidays. In summer 2022, it will be easier to make travel plans, and most Swiss people are planning to make up for missed holidays, especially overseas. Their preferred means of travel is the car, their dream destination is Italy and, despite the pandemic, their holiday budget has barely changed, according to a survey by Generali Switzerland.

With COVID-19 measures being lifted, around 46% of those surveyed feel significantly freer and less restricted in their travel plans. This was quite different last year: in 2021, 66% of respondents said that the COVID-19 measures would restrict their summer holidays. Switching off, relaxation and a change of scenery continue to be the main reasons for a summer holiday this year, according to a survey by Generali Switzerland on this topic.


The budget remains the same

Thanks to this regained freedom, this year 7 out of 10 respondents plan to travel in the summer – whether within Switzerland or abroad. This represents an increase of eight percentage points compared to last year. However, people do not want to spend more money: 72% of respondents said they were planning the same budget for their upcoming holidays as they did before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The car is the preferred means of travel

As in the previous year, most respondents will be travelling in their own car (48 per cent). Compared to last year, however, this figure has fallen by seven percentage points. In addition to this trend, there is also a gender difference in the choice of travel mode. 46% of women say they prefer to travel by car this summer. For men, this proportion is just 39%. 33% of men and just 17% of women plan to travel by public transport, i.e. by train or bus. Families will primarily use the car or the plane, with the car being slightly more popular (46%) than the plane (41%).


Italy is the number one holiday destination

Although no more trips abroad are planned compared to last year, the number of domestic trips seems to have decreased. At the same time, more respondents this year than last year are not yet sure where they want to travel this summer. Last year, 42% of survey respondents said they would spend their holidays in Switzerland. This year it is only 27%. The most popular destination beyond the country's borders is still Italy, followed by France and Spain. Those who want to spend their holidays in Switzerland are taking their time planning. In March, almost a third of respondents were not yet sure where they would be heading this summer. Nevertheless, there is one clear favourite: Ticino.


The younger population prefers longer holidays

This summer, the Swiss plan to go on holiday just as often as they did before the pandemic. They appear to be making up for last year’s COIVD-19 decline; travel seems to be returning to normal. But not all share the same travel habits. There are clear differences in the duration of holidays. The younger generation, in particular, are planning extended holidays. Three weeks’ holiday at a stretch is an option mainly for 18- to 29-year-olds, while the over-50s mostly opt for a one-week holiday.


Rest and relaxation are crucial

The reasons for taking a holiday are the same as those prior to the pandemic. The survey results show that rest and relaxation, switching off and a change of scenery are the three most important reasons for respondents again this year. In this context, significantly more people mentioned the desire for a change of scenery and switching off as the main motive last year than this year. The reason for this difference could be the relaxation of the COVID-19 measures.


Men and women have different travel habits

The main reasons for travelling differ according to gender. Men primarily want to clear their heads (20 percent), while for women, the main reason is to spend time with their family (16 percent). However, the pleasure of leisure is often associated with a lot of stress and planning challenges. The biggest stressors when travelling are the pandemic for 44% of respondents, planning uncertainty for 31%, possible illnesses for 28% and the unpredictability of the weather for 24%.


Travel planning proves easier

Since the official end of the pandemic and the associated measures, there has been a noticeable sigh of relief among the population. This is particularly evident in travel planning. Here, respondents feel that thanks to the lifting of the COVID-19 measures, planning and travelling is now much easier and more relaxed. Significantly more Swiss would like to make up for missed holidays. This is stated by 50% of 30- to 39-year-olds. Families show a lower tendency to catch up on their holidays.


30% had to cancel their trip

There are still some countries that require certain travel precautions. 54% of those aged 50 to 65 find this particularly tedious. However, a clear trend emerges across all age groups: one in three people had to cancel or postpone their trip due to the COVID-19 pandemic because the destination was inaccessible or unsafe. And one in four had to suddenly reschedule their trip because they fell ill with COVID-19. This explains why over a third (38%) say they are paying much more attention to cancellation policies. The right travel insurance also plays a major role for many.


The survey, which is representative of the population as a whole, was carried out on behalf of Generali Switzerland between 16 and 21 March 2022, with 504 people taking part.


The Generali Group is an independent Italian group with a strong international presence. Established in 1831, the company is now one of the world’s leading insurers. Generali has around 72,000 employees serving more than 65.9 million customers in 50 countries. The Group’s total income came to more than EUR 70.7 billion in 2020, making Generali the market leader in Western Europe. The company is also an increasingly important player in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Asia.


Generali’s roots in Switzerland date back to 1887. Today, Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd. operates throughout Switzerland, with two head offices – one in Adliswil and one in Nyon – and a wide network of agencies. The insurer has more than one million customers and offers products for every situation in life. These include property insurance, legal expenses insurance, life insurance and pension solutions. Generali partners with start-ups to develop innovative products. The company is the first Swiss insurer to launch a fully digital pillar 3a.