Travel industry waking up to risk of tourists seeking cool summers

Cooler destinations such as Iceland and Denmark appeared among the UN’s top 10 best-performing European destinations in 2023

Jan 29, 2024

The chilly and dim winter days of January often prompt Northern Europeans to plan their summer vacations well in advance. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, tourism is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this year. However, despite the rising numbers, tour operators are grappling with the ongoing threat of climate-related weather events.

Key takeaways

  • Approximately 14% of European travelers now express concern about extreme weather events as their primary consideration when making travel plans, as reported by the ETC. This is a notable increase from the 7% recorded in a previous study conducted in May.
  • Tui, a prominent tour operator, has initiated the offering of year-round holidays in certain Southern Mediterranean destinations like Turkey's Antalya. The goal is to attract travelers who may be deterred by the extreme temperatures during peak summer months, encouraging them to opt for spring or autumn vacations instead.
  • Despite the growing interest, consumer demand has not reached a level that justifies significant capacity increases in cooler destinations such as the Nordics. The need for significantly more beds is apparent when comparing tourism beds in Spain, totaling nearly 2 million in 2021, to Finland's underwhelming count of under 139,000. Additionally, holidaying in Nordic countries tends to be relatively expensive.

Get the full story at the Financial Times

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