Deteriorating weather conditions across southern Europe can impact the number of holidaymakers in the region, as soaring temperatures and storms threaten popular tourist destinations as tourists prioritise places with milder temperatures.
Currently, some of the hottest temperatures have been recorded in European countries, causing wildfires in tourism destinations like Italy, Greece, France, and Portugal.
In addition, many parts of Greece, Italy and Spain have recorded a maximum temperature of more than 45 degrees Celsius. These temperatures are sending tourists away to cooler destinations as data from the European Travel Commission has revealed that the number of travellers planning to take trips between June and November dropped by four per cent.
The most popular destination was Spain, with eight per cent of the total number of respondents planning their trips to this destination in the upcoming months, followed by those planning to visit France and Italy – seven per cent of respondents, respectively, while Greece and Croatia follow next with five per cent of respondents picking these spots as their summer destinations.
On the other hand, less crowded places and with cooler climates are being pursued more this year, as destinations like Bulgaria, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Denmark are becoming more popular.
The extreme weather conditions in Italy have caused seven casualties – three in the Southern region due to wildfires and four in the northern cities due to severe storms while some tourists were unable to travel as Palermo airport was shut down, threatened by wildfires in the nearby areas.
Similarly, wildfires in the zones nearby the Nice International Airport in France have raised concerns about the hub, but the situation remains safe until further notice.
However, the situation is more serious in the Mediterranean zone of Algeria and Tunisia, where an extreme European heatwave has caused the death of 34 people and severe damage.
In general, hot temperatures are impacting the Mediterranean vacation destinations’ popularity as it dropped by ten per cent last year when Europe experienced its hottest summer ever.
Wildfires in Greece have also caused two casualties, while hundreds of residents, including tourists, had to be evacuated. Croatia’s Adriatic pearl of Dubrovnik has also been threatened by wildfires, as the blaze captivated an area 12 kilometres away from the popular destination.
“A hurricane southern wind blowing in the Dubrovnik-Neretva canton has fuelled a widespread open space fire in the area of the Dubrovnik Plat community,” the Croatian Firefighters Community (HVZ) said on its website.
In order for travellers to protect themselves from unexpected expenses, they are advised to have good travel health insurance, which covers several services such as medical emergencies, coverage for missing or lost items and trip cancellation coverage, among other services.
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