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Southern Europe will drop 10% of tourists in summer if the heat waves are repeated

Date: April 14, 2024 Time: 20:55:05

Europe could say goodbye to hundreds of tourists if the heat waves continue for years to come. This summer the high temperatures have set maximums and it has been one of the most important in recent years. With temperatures above 45 degrees in most southern countries, for example, where governments are decreeing the extension of hours of monuments and places of tourist interest so that visitors can avoid the central hours of heat.

The United Nations announced it in July, when the Secretary General, António Guterres, assured that “the era of global warming has ended. The era of global boiling has arrived.” A particularly serious warning for tourism, since climate change represents one of the most important challenges to be faced by one of the main sectors of the international economy for the coming years, once the coronavirus pandemic has been overcome and the paralysis it caused for the sector.

A study published by Plos One in 2019 predicted that by the year 2050, the climate of cities like Madrid will resemble that of Marrakech, London will have temperatures closer to Barcelona today, and Stockholm will experience conditions similar to those of Budapest.

This forecast would have a very significant impact on the tourism industry in Europe, which last year contributed 1.9 trillion euros to the region’s economy. Southern European countries, highly dependent on tourism, will be the most affected. For example, in 2021, tourism contributed 14.9% to Greece’s GDP, while for Italy and Spain the figures were 9.1% and 8.5%, respectively.

Southern Europe suffers from extreme heat

Heat waves, which are increasingly common, are significantly affecting tourism in many countries, especially those in southern Europe that are suffering from unstoppable climate change. Thus, this July in traditionally ‘cool’ cities such as Frankfurt (Germany) temperatures have reached up to 36 degrees, while other cities in Belgium and the Netherlands have also exceeded 30 degrees in recent weeks. In neighboring Italy, the red alert has been activated several times this summer in about twenty cities when it exceeds 45 degrees.

“Heat waves may reduce the attractiveness of southern Europe as a tourist destination in the long term, which would have negative economic consequences given the importance of the sector in Spain,” says the Moody’s credit agency, which focuses on our country by indicating that “the expected increase in extreme weather events in the coming years will have negative effects, including the less attractiveness of Mediterranean countries, such as Spain”.

According to the Daily Mail, British tourists, the main issuing market for our country, are beginning to change Spain for more northern destinations, in an attempt to flee from the continuous heat waves and frequent fires. This British media cites a report from the travel website Expedia.com, which has detected a notable increase in British reservations in countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia and the Netherlands.

Thus, searches for hotels in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, have experienced an increase of 34% compared to August last year, according to data from Expedia.com. Oslo also saw a 45% increase, while Stockholm is also becoming increasingly popular, with hotel searches up 29% in August. Elsewhere, the Latvian city of Riga, where temperatures hit 27 degrees this summer, well below temperatures hovering around 40 degrees experienced in Spain, has seen a 47% rise.

There are even many British who have decided to stay in their country to enjoy their holidays. Thus, an increase in interest in summer holidays has been detected in the Scottish Highlands (41%) and the Isle of Man (38%). The flight search engine Kayak is also noting a similar trend, with Amsterdam becoming the most searched destination for vacations in August and September of this year. Other destinations in its top ten include Dublin, Belfast and Stockholm.

Travel to cooler places

Faced with this suffocating heat situation, many tourists are already canceling trips to Europe and are moving to areas of the planet with a more benevolent climate. With this, countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy or France could see their tourism leadership threatened as travelers choose to move to other areas of the center and north of the continent during the hottest months of the year.

This is predicted by a recent report from the European Joint Research Center, which nevertheless believes that in compensation, the south will receive more visitors during spring and other less warm seasons. In this scenario, northern European coastal destinations would grow in popularity by around 5% during the summer and early autumn months.

The European Center for Medium-Range Meteorological Forecasts (CEPPM) warns that if the average temperatures continue to rise throughout the entire In fact, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, tourists will have to avoid certain areas and reduce their activities for the day , looking for shade or more heated places to combat the high temperatures.

Spain, would see the number of tourists reduced by almost 10% in the summer season if the temperature rose three or four degrees Celsius, according to data from a report prepared by the European Joint Research Center, the first study that has carried out an evaluation regional conference to explore the influence of climate on European tourism demand.

Although for the moment the main tourist companies such as hotels, travel agencies and airlines have not detected a notable decrease in the number of tourists to the hottest destinations on the continent, the truth is that everything indicates that they will have to prepare for a possible change. . trending in Europe. In fact, according to the European Travel Commission, the number of travelers planning to spend their holidays in Greece, Spain or Portugal between June and November of this year has fallen by 4%.

Possible solutions

The increase in average temperatures and the phenomena of heat waves may mean that the most popular destinations in summer up to now must adapt their offers and promotions to attract visitors in more temperate times of the year. Shortening the summer holidays and distributing them throughout the year favoring the deseasonalization of tourism could be a way of addressing this situation that seems to be unstoppable.

This solution is already viable in other European countries, where the weeks of school holidays in summer have been reduced to have greater availability during other months of the year. In the case of Spain, it seems that this would be difficult to achieve since changing the summer season requires significant restructuring, which affects many economic and social sectors, not just tourism.

Some tourism businessmen have even gone so far as to request a delay in the start of the school period to boost reservations and extend the summer season. A possible delay in the start of the course to mid-September would make it possible to promote later reservations while protecting minors from the high temperatures that they often suffer in schools.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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