Europe’s tourism market is losing popularity due to global warming


Greece, Italy, Spain traditionally attract millions of tourists every year. However, experts warn that soon the popularity of these destinations may decline significantly, and tourists will go to rest in the north of Europe. And all because of global warming, which leads to fires and unbearably high temperatures.

Tourism provided Greece with 14.9% of its GDP in 2021. Italy received from the tourism industry in the same year 9.1% of its GDP, Spain – 8.5%. In 2022, by counting World Travel and Tourism Council, Europe has earned €1.9 trillion from tourists. And in the summer of 2023, the region was engulfed in fires caused by abnormally high temperatures and drought. And this is just the beginning, scientists warn. Experts of the tourism market are sure that in the near future the tourist map of Europe will not be recognized.

The thermometers in some European regions are approaching 50 degrees Celsius. Today on the Greek island of Rhodes was announced the highest level of danger due to the fires raging for a week. More than 30 thousand people have already been evacuated from the island.

Now in Greece, the authorities are trying to localize 82 forest fires, 64 of which broke out in just the last couple of days.

In addition to Rhodes, the threat level has also been raised in Crete – to the fourth out of five possible.

The situation is no better in Italy, where, for example, residents of Sardinia were advised not to leave their homes at all. Last week the temperature here reached 46 degrees Celsius. Abnormal heat observed and in Turkey. And by data World Meteorological Organization, the beginning of July was generally the hottest on record.

All this, of course, affects not only local residents, but also tourists who, instead of the vacation of their dreams, are forced to either hide from the heat in hotel rooms, or even escape fires in temporary accommodation camps. And it is unlikely that any of them will ever want to experience such an experience again.

On Monday, Moody`s released a bulletin, which warned of the coming cardinal changes in the European tourism market.

According to the agency, despite the fact that in general the European tourism sector will continue to grow at an average of 3.3% in the next decade, the structure of this market may change beyond recognition.

Not wanting to suffer from unbearable heat, tourists will increasingly travel to the northern countries of Europe. And the southern directions will be attractive for mass tourists only in spring and autumn.

Alexandra Mertsalova about the fading demand for holidays in Turkey

At the same time, according to experts, the European tourism industry itself is still not aware of the scale of the problem it is facing. “Until now, many industry representatives are just waking up. I don’t think they’re really ready.” Bloomberg Catarina Martinez-Pardo, Partner at BCG Consulting. And, as the head of the European Tourism Association, Tom Jenkins, notes, the tourism industry is still able to respond to events only in the short term, without making any global conclusions: “Will the industry have to change, ahead of consumer behavior? I think it would be very strange for them.”

Kirill Sarkhanyants

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