December 3, 2023

Do the basic summer season holidays within the Mediterranean nonetheless have a future? The consultants give the solutions on this Euronews interview.

The tourism trade, which contributes considerably to Europe’s gross home product, might be uncovered to appreciable burdens because of local weather change.

This assumption is greater than mere worry, as it’s supported by an EU Fee research with info and figures.

This might hit the potential continent laborious, particularly contemplating that latest warmth waves with temperatures round and even above 40 levels Celsius within the Mediterranean area have brought on nice uncertainty when it comes to reserve figures.

Spain, Italy and Greece are a few of the EU international locations whose economies are particularly oriented in direction of the tourism sector.

The research of the European Fee was carried out by David Garcia Leon, Analyst of Local weather Impacts and Adaptation Coverage of the European Fee. It exhibits a transparent sample of north-south shift in tourism demand in Europe: northern areas benefiting from local weather change and southern areas going through a big decline in tourism demand.

“There isn’t any decline, however change”

Jean-Pierre Mas, president of the French affiliation of journey companies “Entreprises de Voyage”, disagrees: “There is not going to be a dramatic decline. Quite the opposite, there can be a gradual change.” How will this modification come about? Will probably be produced in two actions or in two phases, if I’ll use the expression. On the one hand, the French, who’ve suffered so much from the warmth this summer season, will attempt to discover locations which might be rather less sizzling, that’s, much less to the south and a little bit extra to the north, whether or not it’s the north of France, but additionally within the northern Europe, that’s, locations the place it’s not so sizzling in July and August.

Mauritius, for instance, is now the ninth most essential summer season vacation spot for the French, even though Mauritius is winter in July and August. So behavioral modifications are slowly happening. However this doesn’t imply that tourism goes to break down in international locations like Greece, Spain and Italy. The season is not going to be restricted to July and August. It should proceed by the spring and fall. What does this imply? Individuals will journey to Andalusia in spring, to the Greek islands in spring or autumn and rather less in summer season.”

Europe is probably the most visited area on the earth, in accordance with calculations by the World Tourism Group (UNWTO). In 2020, Europe generated 41% of all world tourism receipts and recorded 51% of all worldwide arrivals, which is equal to 582 million vacationers.

When Lauterbach tweets from his trip in Italy…

A tweet from German Well being Minister Karl Lauterbach, reporting from his trip in Tuscany, brought on irritation in Italy. Lauterbach wrote:

“The warmth wave is spectacular right here. If it continues like this, these vacation locations can have no long-term future. Local weather change is destroying southern Europe. An period is coming to an finish.”

In his tweet, Lauterbach referred to a European climate map produced by the Helmholtz Local weather Initiative.

Italy allays German issues

The response of the Italian Minister of Tourism, Daniela Santanchè, was not lengthy in coming: “I wish to thank the German Minister of Well being for having chosen Italy as a vacation spot, which has all the time been the favourite trip spot for his compatriots. We’re certain that the Germans will proceed to understand holidays in Italy,” he declared, including that Italy is conscious of local weather change, which impacts not solely southern Europe, however your entire planet.

The Italian Tourism Affiliation: “Troublesome to search out one other place”

Much more assured and optimistic was the president of the Italian Federation of Journey and Tourism FiavetGiuseppe Ciminnisi: “Actually tourism has modified within the identify of higher sustainability, however as organized tourism firms we guarantee Minister Karl Lauterbach that if he needs to journey additional south, for instance to Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, it is going to be troublesome for him to discover a place even on this sizzling climate”.

The motto of Italy: don’t be alarmed

Ciminnisi continues: “Local weather modifications is not going to cease individuals from going to the ocean, the mountains or the lake, discovering cities which might be world heritage websites, discovering new locations and making an attempt meals that can’t be discovered elsewhere.” Since Ulysses, touring across the Mediterranean has been an indispensable issue for human enrichment”.

No sudden change from south to north

Nevertheless, the curiosity of many vacationers in Europe is altering, very slowly however perceptibly, says the president of the French Affiliation of Journey Businesses, Jean-Pierre Mas, in an interview with Euronews:

“This summer season, the locations chosen (from the French version) are Greece first, Spain second and Tunisia third, subsequently the three warmest international locations, and the Antilles. Sure, there was a rise in guests to Scandinavia, for instance, and there was a rise in guests to the Hauts de France, the northern a part of France, or Alsace for French-speaking tourism. But it surely can’t be stated that there was a retreat from the south to the north. This motion can be gradual and never , not there can be an abrupt course of. However tourism professionals from international locations like Spain, Greece and Tunisia need to be ready that the variety of guests can be decrease in July or August and positively increased in June and September sooner or later.”

“Comparatively good summer season for Spain, Greece and Italy”

However there may be one other quite simple cause why the tourism sector in southern Europe doesn’t fall into pessimism. These are the habits of vacationers, who often e-book their journeys months upfront.

Olivier Ponti, from Ahead Keys consultancyexplains it in an interview with Euronews: “I feel the scenario is encouraging for locations like Spain, Greece and Italy, which ought to have a comparatively good summer season regardless of the whole lot. Why? As a result of reservations for the summer season season are they did within the first half of the yr so the present occasions will principally have an effect on final minute bookings and these make up a minority of bookings so I feel journey companies and tour operators in these areas ought to be capable to do good enterprise in the summertime. Within the locations which might be most affected, I’m pondering of locations like Rhodes or Sicily, the scenario will clearly be harder, as a result of there are huge waves of cancellations there, just because it’s not doable to have a nice summer season trip within the present circumstances”.

The prospect of extra nice summer season climate is somewhat modest: “Basically, it’s a must to be ready for it to get even hotter and are usually drier,” says local weather professional Hans-Martin Fussel of the European Local weather Company. Surroundings EEA in Copenhagen.

As well as, lots of the standard cities within the south are heating up particularly rapidly, so their very own inhabitants flee to the coasts or take a nap. In summer season, the climate situations in Europe additionally last more and longer, says Fussel: “A warmth wave doesn’t finish after one, two or three days, however lasts for much longer”, to which is added a rise within the rainfall.

The favourite vacation locations of Germans

The Federal Statistical Workplace in Wiesbaden confirmed the July 17, 2023: The favourite locations for Germans to journey overseas in 2022 have been Italy (14%), Austria (14%), Spain (11%), France (7%) and the Netherlands (7%).

These 5 international locations remained the primary international locations for vacationers from Germany each earlier than, throughout and after the pandemic.

There have been no mass cancellations because of warmth waves in components of Spain and Italy, Olivier Ponti, a journey specialist, stated in an interview with Euronews: “Wherever the temperatures are excessive, we don’t see waves of cancellations , however considerably fewer new bookings. And there’s a shift in direction of locations that permit guests to take pleasure in their holidays with out having to spend most of their time in air-conditioned rooms. You will need to do not forget that we’re nonetheless within the interval of restoration from the COVID disaster. Locations equivalent to southern Europe, Italy, Spain and Greece are benefiting significantly from the resurgence in journey demand. Within the case of Greece, extra guests are already anticipated than earlier than the pandemic. And within the case of Italy and Spain, these international locations are virtually again to pre-pandemic ranges, so the general image has been very constructive for these locations, and most guests are additionally filling their reservations. So I feel the summer season season can be good no matter warmth waves, wildfires and rains. The climatic catastrophes that we’re experiencing will have an effect on last-minute reservations above all, however not the majority of the reservations. So I feel it needs to be a superb season.”

Essential financial issue: international vacationers

In keeping with the European Journey Fee, a non-governmental group that promotes Europe as a vacationer vacation spot world wide, the European journey market can be principally on the rise. When it comes to traveler arrivals to Europe, 95% of 2019 ranges have already been reached this yr, he famous.

Excessive shopper demand stays sturdy regardless of cussed inflation and rising journey prices. That is additionally because of vacationers from the US, who profit from the favorable alternate charge. In keeping with the European Journey Fee, Portugal (+79%), Turkey (+78%) and Montenegro (+43%) are experiencing significantly massive will increase in vacationers from the US.

Basically, the pattern is in direction of international locations that provide good worth for cash. The evaluations of the European Journey Fee as much as and together with Might 2023 have proven that 4 international locations specifically profit from this repute: Serbia (with 27% development within the present yr), Bulgaria (+21%), Montenegro (+12%) and Turkey (+ 9%).