Research Briefing | Jul 28, 2023

Heatwaves and headaches for Europe this summer

Destinations across the world have been faced with sustained temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) since June. The combination of climate change and the warm phase of the El Niño climate pattern is widely believed to be the cause of this.

What you will learn:

  • Dry and hot conditions in Greece have resulted in wildfires. So far, around 19,000 tourists have been evacuated in July. If this continues into August and September, Greece has the potential to lose at a minimum, between 304,000 and 532,000 nights across this period.
  • Fewer tourist arrivals in Rhodes and Corfu will have a material impact at a regional level, while the impact of Rhodes will potentially dent the national outlook since it accounts for a higher share of guest beds than Athens.
  • The near-term travel and economic impact of the wildfires in Greece will be minimal. Many airlines continue to fly, hotels remain open and travel insurers are currently not paying out if tourists decide to cancel.
  • More frequent periods of extreme weather conditions have reignited the conversation about the relationship between tourism and the environment. In the long-term, more emphasis will be placed on the environment, with some destinations already imposing tourist taxes and fees to manage visitor numbers and support the local environment.
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