|Dutch Beach: sometimes the beach is closer than you think|
The facts and figures of the past months give the tourism industry cause for optimism: the demand for holiday offerings continues unabated - in spite of the lingering threat of terrorism. The UNWTO World Tourism barometer indicated an increase of 1.6 percent in overnight stays within Europe for the turbulent year 2016. So European tourism is still growing, even if no longer as rapidly as in previous years. And safety still ranks as the top selling point.
Spain and Portugal were last year’s most popular destinations and look set to top the list for 2017, as well. Travel companies are expanding their hotel capacities wherever they can. Tui, the world’s largest tour operator, has acquired a good 20 percent more hotels on the Canary Islands alone. FTI has taken on 75 new hotels, and Alltours a full 100. But the beach capacity remains the same. Will vacationers find a spot to spread their towels on such overcrowded stretches of sand? In any case, they’ll have to splash out more cash for their summer vacation in Spain than in previous years. Prices are going up, as well.
Turkey registered 33-percent fewer tourists in 2016. Whether the sector has any real chance exists to recover from such a steep drop remains to be seen. The tour operators haven’t started cutting hotel capacity just yet, but they’ve slashed the prices: Tui by five percent, Thomas Cook and Neckermann by eight percent. The hotels offer the same high quality for less money. But will such a bargain be enough to counter holiday-makers’ fears in 2017?
Read more: Travel trends for 2017: City - Sand - Sea | DW Travel | DW.COM | 06.01.2017