Spain and Portugal Seen as Safe Vacation Spots by Euro Travelers
PHOTO: Seaside in Portugal (photo by Shannon Wolf)
Left in the wake of terror attacks in France, German and Turkey are European travelers who aren’t quite sure where safe vacations may lie. Currently, Spain and Portugal are where those travelers are turning.
A report from Bloomberg shows both trending increases as well as last-minute anecdotal evidence from operators and properties in both countries that matchup with decreases in typical European travel destinations like France and Turkey. Italy, too, is seeing surprising jumps in visitor numbers, but the many beaches surrounding the Iberian peninsula and warm climate mirror Turkish destinations and even French Rivera in many ways.
“Tourism is big business for both economies — generating about 10 percent of gross domestic product in both Spain and Portugal. In Spain, arrivals were up 7.4 percent through May this year, while visitor spending jumped 7.8 percent. Overnight stays by non-residents in Portugal advanced 13 percent in the same period.”
It’s worth noting that the trend is more surprising for Portugal than it is for Spain, which has long been a vacation spot for British travelers and set tourism records in 2015 as well. But the mirror image of rising trends in both countries could have lasting consequences for European travelers of all demographics and especially for luxury travelers.
One of the long-held traditions in Spanish and Portuguese travel has been that although the countries have natural romance and beauty attached to the culture, food and landscape, these have typically been seen as cheaper destinations or easier destinations for young people to enjoy top-tier nightlife without spending large amounts of money.
Because of this, Portugal (especially) is investing in making sure immediate gains turn into lasting ones by funding hotels and resorts as well as building out modern infrastructure around destinations and landmarks.
If the four and five-star resorts and experiences on the peninsula are able to build a lasting reputation that Spain and Portugal are safe and luxurious destinations, the Europe travel scene may never look the same.
More by Michael Schottey
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