78% of people are keen to travel this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, says a new survey


Stena Line has recently gauged the temperature of its customers travel preferences in wake of Covid-19, reports Shauna McCrudden

Ferry company Stena Line has undertaken a major survey of its customers to gauge attitudes towards this year’s potential travel destinations and preferred modes of travel. With 84,309 responses from 11 countries across Northern Europe, they have found that a majority of people will travel this year. 

I have always personally loved ferry travel in Europe – the ability to breathe the fresh sea air and the freedom to move around is always welcome on a journey, and adhering to social distancing is easier than other forms of transport. It’s no wonder then that almost two-thirds of the respondents (65%) said they would consider ferry travel over air travel in the wake of Covid-19. 

“We are all going through a challenging situation right now,” says Tony Michaelsen, Head of Travel for Stena Line. “That’s why we asked our customers how they felt about travel going forward. We can conclude that there is a strong will to start travelling again and that ferry travel seems to be a very popular mode of transport. The ability to bring your own car, move around freely and get fresh air on deck is something that not many other modes of transport can offer.” 

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More of the main findings include:

  • Overall attitudes towards travel remain strong, with 78% of the respondents saying they will travel ‘the same or more than before’.
  • 83% of said fresh air circulated onboard or the ability to go out on the deck was ‘important’ or ‘very important’. While 75% said the ability to move around was also ‘important’ or ‘very important’.  
  • In total 72% rated the importance of getting information by the transport company about safety measures, social distancing and hygiene measures as ‘important’ or ‘very important’. 
  • In the UK, the number one destination is overwhelmingly the island of Ireland for 46% of people, with almost one third (32%) of UK respondents wanting to visit the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and Northern Island the second choice of destination Northern Ireland 14%.
  • Similarly, the number one destination of choice for customers living in the ROI is the UK with 33% listing it as their first choice. While only 7% indicated they would be holidaying in ROI. 90% of respondents indicated they want to holiday in countries, not on the ROI’s Green List.
  • In the rest of Europe, the main single reason for travel is either a holiday or for work. In the UK and Ireland after the long lockdown, the number one reason for travel is to visit friends and family: 46% and 41% of respondents, respectively. 
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