Shift in European Travel Trends: Climate Change Role in Reshaping European Travel Patterns

Shift in European Travel Trends: Climate Change Role in Reshaping European Travel Patterns

With temperatures in Europe at an all-time high this summer, travel preferences are predicted to transform in the coming years.

Experts estimate that July will become a less popular month for vacationing in Europe, with April emerging as the best time to travel.

In late July, the European Commission adopted a new set of guiding principles aimed at assisting member states in refreshing and implementing comprehensive national climate strategies. The commission’s decision was based on a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, containing numerous pessimistic assessments concerning the future of summer tourism in Europe.

The document titled “Regional Impact of Climate Change on European Tourism Demand” analyses data from 269 European destinations spanning over 20 years.

According to the report, while sun and sea were formerly vital aspects of summer vacations in Europe, the heat has made these elements less desirable to tourists. Traditional southern European resorts are expected to lose some of their attraction as a result of this shift in the coming years.

Italy, France, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece are predicted to be among the least favoured destinations. Greece might be hit hardest, facing the potential loss of almost one in ten tourists.

April is the New July

This shift in tourist preferences is also set to introduce new peak travel periods to Europe. 

April is anticipated to become a more popular time for journeys, with travel during this period projected to increase by 8.89%. In contrast, July is expected to witness the sharpest decline, with an average decrease of 5.72%.

According to the European Travel Commission, this scenario is already becoming a reality, as the number of travellers intending to vacation in Greece, Spain, or Portugal from June to November of this year has decreased by 10% due to abnormal temperatures.

“European resorts need to move away from ‘ultra-seasonal’ tourism. The less reliance on the high season in July and August, the less resort destinations will be dependent on weather factors and anomalies,” the expert report emphasises.

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