The soaring temperatures across southern Europe could see a lasting change in tourism on the continent – with more travellers choosing colder destinations like Ireland and the Nordic countries.
A recent survey from the European Travel Commission found that Mediterranean destinations have seen a 10% drop in enquiries this year, with countries like Ireland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Denmark seeing a “surge in popularity”.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, travel writer Joan Scales said the searing heat is definitely making people think twice about where they want to go – although places like Spain are still seeing huge numbers of tourists.
She said many people are looking at the cooler parts of Spain instead of the traditional hotspot in the south.
“Most people will go to the south of Spain because they traditionally always went to Andalucia and the Balearics,” she said.
“Recently, I went to Asturias in northern Spain. It was fabulous. Do you know what, the temperature was 22C to 24C and apart from the fabulous weather, I mean Gijon was fabulous, a beautiful beach in town and Oviedo was a beautiful city – I loved it."
She said she “hardly heard an English voice” during the trip – and there was incredible value to be had.
“Unbelievably cheap,” she said. “You are paying between €1 and €2 for a glass of Alberino, a beer was €2 and the most expensive meal we had, we went to a kind a sidreria - a cider restaurant - and that was €50. That was the most expensive meal for the two of us.”
Ms Scales said the changes in tourism habits offer great opportunities to Ireland – but we have a major battle on our hands when it comes to value.
“People don’t come to Ireland specifically for the weather but if our weather does change then it certainly would encourage more people,” she said.
“I do think we have a battle on our hands with prices because we are very expensive compared to the rest of Europe.
“I mean, I’m telling you about €1 and €2 for beers and wines in Spain but you’re talking about €7, €8 and €9 here for the same thing.”
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