Corfu Leads Off-Peak Travel Boom for European Tourists


A recent report by the Mastercard Economics Institute reveals a significant shift in European travel trends, with tourists increasingly favouring shoulder seasons over the traditional high summer period.

Greece, particularly the island of Corfu, emerges as a hotspot for off-peak holidaymakers.

The study analyses data from various European countries, highlighting a notable preference for intermediate periods such as May-June and September-October. Alongside Greece, popular Mediterranean destinations like Croatia, Portugal, and Italy witness a surge in tourist interest during these periods. Even northern European countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands observe a similar trend away from peak summer months.

Demographic shifts, including a rise in retirees and households without children, contribute to this change in travel patterns. The report attributes the shift not only to warmer summers but also to lifestyle factors such as flexible schedules and a desire for less crowded experiences.

Over the past decade, overnight stays during the intermediate periods have increased by 1.8 percentage points within the European Union. This growth offers opportunities for sustained travel growth while alleviating capacity constraints during peak seasons.

Natalia Lechmanova, Chief Economist for Europe at the Mastercard Economics Institute, emphasises the evolving preferences of European travellers, who prioritise immersive experiences and authenticity in their holiday choices.

Moreover, consumers' spending habits reflect a preference for experiences over material goods, with spending on experiences reaching a five-year high. UK travellers, in particular, allocate a significant portion of their budget to experiences and nightlife.

The report also highlights longer holiday stays in Europe, with tourists spending an average of two extra days per trip, driven by affordable prices and favourable climates. European tourism remains resilient despite inflation and post-pandemic economic challenges, with strong demand from American travellers contributing to its robust performance.

As for summer destinations, Munich tops the list, followed by Tirana, Nice, Corfu, and Istanbul. Albania, Croatia, and Turkey's seaside destinations witness significant increases in air traffic, while Italy and France dominate the list of luxury destinations.

(Source: Money Tourism)

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