By Netpal Travel Bureau
Tourism around the Mediterranean has been booming. Weeklong holiday trips around some of the lesser-known Greek islands were booked up through October.
Weeklong holiday trips on yacht around some of the lesser-known Greek islands — Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, Kythnos and many others — were booked up through October.
Tourism around the Mediterranean has been booming. Helped by a strong U.S. dollar and Europeans’ pent-up demand to find a beach after years of COVID-19 travel restrictions, it’s been a stronger comeback from the pandemic slump than many expected, which led to long lines, canceled flights and lost luggage this summer at many European airports — though not in Greece.
Greece is on course to beat its annual record revenue haul from tourism. Portugal also is eyeing a full recovery, while late-summer data suggested Spain, Italy and Cyprus will end the year just shy of pre-pandemic visitor levels.
A blessing for Europe’s southern economies, the rebound is also easing the continent’s tilt toward recession brought on by rocketing energy prices, the war in Ukraine and enduring disruptions caused by the pandemic.
“For countries like Greece and others like Italy and Spain, they have actually produced plenty of resilience during the summer … despite the tsunami that is coming from the cost-of-living crisis and the energy crisis,” said Lorenzo Codogno, chief economist at LC Macro Advisors and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.
Europe’s Mediterranean coast also offers destinations that are safe and have cultural interest, Codogno said, but the good news may not last.
Economic growth in 19 countries using the euro currency is set to sink to 0.5% in 2023 from an increase of 3.1% this year, according to a new forecast from the International Monetary Fund.
Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain have the highest debt levels in the eurozone relative to the size of their economies and also face rising borrowing costs.
In Athens’ historic Plaka district, tourists were still packing the narrow streets during a mild late October, crowding around ice cream sellers and stopping to browse at stores selling leather bags, jewelry, hats and souvenirs.
As the days get shorter and the outlook darkens over European Union economies, Greece and other southern member states have renewed national efforts to set up year-round holiday destinations, hoping that hiking trails, rock climbing and visits to historic churches can dampen the winter drop in arrivals.