European tourists switched from North Africa to northern Mediterranean. Political turmoil in the region caused considerable changes in the popularity of the countries.
The so called “Arab Spring” has altered the plans of many European tourists. Tunisia and Egypt that were extremely popular among the tourists were abandoned in favor of France, Spain or Greece.
According to a recent survey by Travelzoo, while 70% of respondents were planning a trip to the Middle East and North Africa before the Arab spring, 72% of them stated they are less willing to take their holidays in these countries.
It is the northern Mediterranean that is taking advantage of the situation. Especially France and Spain have become suitable substitutes for European travelers seeking sun and beach holidays as well as heritage tours.
In the first months of this year the tourism numbers jumped by 20% in Spain, mainly in Canary and Valencia province. Greece, Cyprus or Turkey also became very popular destinations. On the other hand, the findings of the Travelzoo survey show that travelers are less likely to spend their holidays in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Oman and Dubai.
According to the German institute GfK, reservations in Tunisia and Egypt declined dramatically in the summer. Tunisia recorded a decrease of 85% of bookings by German travelers. Interest in Egypt, previously the third most popular destination for Germans, also declined. Spain and Turkey are the holiday hotspots now, with the amount of booked holiday increasing by 35% - 45% at the beginning of 2011. Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia also recorded increases in bookings.