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July 7, 2021

Winter sun destinations may benefit from an uncertain European summer

For many Europeans, going on holidays this summer is still risky because of the Covid-19 pandemic and may opt for winter sun destinations.

By Globaldata Travel and Tourism

With many Europeans still deeming summer holidays to be too risky due to the ongoing threats of Covid-19 contraction, not being fully vaccinated and fluctuating travel restrictions, destinations that can offer winter sun stand to benefit.

Ongoing concerns will increase demand for winter trips

According to GlobalData’s Q1 2021 survey*, 34% of European consumers were still ‘extremely worried’ about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, 48% of European consumers were either ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about travel restrictions in an earlier GlobalData survey**.

This ongoing concern surrounding the pandemic and its impact on travel accessibility has meant that many European travellers will opt for winter sun destinations post-summer, giving more time for the pandemic to subside, which decreases the chances of sudden travel restrictions being imposed. By the winter, many more travellers will be fully vaccinated, which will also increase booking confidence.

According to GlobalData’s Covid-19 dashboard, the EU is starting to catch up with the likes of the UK and is entering the summer period with more than 60% of its adult population having received at least one dose of a vaccine. Although vaccine rollout is picking up pace, this statistic shows that a significant portion of the EU population will not be fully vaccinated this summer, but they likely will be as they enter the winter period. This makes the prospect of an international trip more attractive later on in 2021.

Destinations with warm climates could profit

Emerging as a firm favourite last winter, the UAE, and Dubai in particular, could once again profit this year, with the destination becoming a primary choice for the UK and Russian tourists. According to GlobalData, over half a million Brits and just under half a million Russians travelled to the UAE in 2020, with many of these trips being taken in the cooler months post-summer, with temperatures sitting between 14 and 26 degrees in December in Abu Dhabi, for example.

When looking at destinations in Europe, the Canary Islands may stand to benefit, with Gran Canaria boasting an attractive average high temperature of 22 degrees in December. The islands could especially benefit from a stiff increase in domestic tourism from mainland Spain, as Spaniards may seek familiarity as well as continued warmth in the winter.

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As intra-regional demand for summer holidays in Europe looks set to still be heavily impacted by the pandemic, many travellers will look to the winter to get their fix of sun and beach, which will put destinations with constantly warm climates at an advantage.

*GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey

** GlobalData’s Coronavirus recovery consumer survey (December 2020)

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