Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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Europe heatwave: Greece and Spain see tourists flee | World | News

Tourists are now flocking to cooler destinations as heatwaves grip popular holiday destinations like Greece and Spain.

Temperature levels across the continent have been soaring with many popular destinations like Spain, Italy, and Greece witnessing mercury levels above 40C.

With blistering temperatures, holidaymakers are getting inclined towards countries such as Norway and Sweden that are now playing the “coolcation” card to attract visitors to their temperate latitudes.

According to the UN’s climate experts (IPCC), it is “almost certain” that the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events and the duration of heatwaves have increased since 1950 and will continue to do so with global warming.

By 2050 in Europe, around half the population could be exposed to a high or very high risk of heat stress during the summer, and the number of deaths linked to heat stress could double or even triple with a rise in temperature of between +1.5C and +3C.

“Spain, no. Greece, no,” says Gérard Grollier, a 74-year-old French pensioner, as he left the coach in the village of Geiranger.

“Because the climate is much more pleasant and there are some destinations that I won’t be going to, at least not in the spring-summer season, because it’s far too hot there,” his daughter, Virginie explained.

She added: “We have failed to protect our planet and today that’s having an impact on tourism too”

A new survey by the European Travel Commission (ETC) suggests that 76 percent of European travellers are adapting their behaviour in response to the climate crisis.

Weather maps show that temperatures in France are likely to hover between 36-37C on July 17 as the holiday destination is battered with the hot weather conditions.

Similarly, parts of Greece could see highs of 43C during the same period.

With its northern charm and abundant natural beauty, Sweden is increasingly becoming the go-to destination for those looking to escape the summer heat.

In 2023, the number of overnight stays by foreigners rose by 22 percent in Norway – with a record in August – and by 11 percent in Sweden, according to official statistics, an increase also driven by the end of health restrictions in 2022 and by a slump in Scandinavian currencies.

According to a survey carried out in Germany for the Visit Sweden promotional organisation, two out of five people are planning to change their travel habits because of the heat in southern Europe. Most often by choosing other times of year, but also by opting for new destinations.

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