It seems a world away from the wet conditions Britons are experiencing this summer, but with scenes of 40-degree baking beaches in Spain and Italy and tourists fleeing wildfires in Greece, will we look to other destinations for next year’s summer break? And will travelling to southern Europe eventually become more popular in cooler months?
The key reason behind sustained temperatures exceeding 40C (equivalent to 104F) is the combination of climate change and the warm phase of El Niño climate pattern. Scientists have concluded that Europe is warming faster than most parts of the world, and this summer’s record-breaking temperatures are forecast to get worse year on year as average global temperatures keep rising. We are moving from using the term Global Warming to the more ominous Global Boiling.
Post Pandemic Britons have booked fewer holidays at home and more in the Mediterranean, often many months in advance, as they continue to “crave post-lockdown beach escapes”, said Sean Tipton of British travel agent group ABTA. Demand for travel has soared again this summer as tourists leave behind years of pandemic restrictions, and travel companies say the excessive heat hasn't caused many 2023 cancellations - yet.
However, European Travel Commission (ETC) data shows the number of people hoping to travel to the Mediterranean region in June to November has already fallen 10% compared to last year. "We anticipate that unpredictable weather conditions in the future will have a greater impact on travellers' choices in Europe," said Miguel Sanz, the head of the ETC. 7.6% of travellers now see extreme weather events as a major concern for trips between June and November 2023.
For now, the travel industry is stating that it is business as usual with last minute bookings to the Mediterranean still being very much in demand. With the wettest July on record, it is not surprising that Britons are longing for sunshine, even if it is extremely hot sunshine that could be deadly.
But next year is looking much more unsettled especially for those needing to travel during summer school holidays. Destinations like the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland and Bulgaria have already seen a spike in interest and travel expert Simon Calder has said “I would imagine that the North Sea and Baltic beaches are going to get a bit crowded next summer as a result of what we have seen this year”.
We know that scientists have long warned that climate change is caused by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. We are now seeing the real results of that with extreme weather events becoming more frequent, more severe and more deadly.
But will we see a drop in Mediterranean bookings next summer or will tourists still risk a heatwave?
About Digital Dialog
Digital Dialog is a digital marketing agency specialising in the tourism, travel & hospitality sector. Our core service offerings includes media planning & buying, creative digital campaigns and lead generation.
See what it's like to work with a specialist agency.
You won't know till you speak to us! Get in touch and let's explore how we can help you.