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The European Mediterranean coast as a destination shelter is imposed

Spain, Greece, Turkey and Croatia capture the true tourist to North Africa | Arab Spring tourists kept away fearing instability | Spain went on to lose 10% of tourists in two years, and this year returns almost 8%

The Arab spring eternal being done to tourism destinations as consolidated as Egypt and Tunisia , where the social upheavals that ended up toppling governments have kept the foreign visitors throughout the year. Egypt tourism destination classic British, German and Russian, this year has seen a drop in visits by 40% (according to the World Tourism Organization), similar to that suffered Tunisia preference million French visitors. Morocco also suffers from this summer the consequences of the attack in the tourist heart of Marrakech, which killed 14 people, with a drop in visits of 11%. "During the weeks after the attack, just reserved tickets on routes to Marrakech, so we opted to cancel them to fall," the company argues Vueling, which repositioned the aircraft opening new routes to the Greek islands, with flights to Crete Santorini and Mykonos.

"The flow of tourists from sun and sand has moved from North Africa to the European shores of the Mediterranean and Turkey, which have assumed much of the regular tourists in Egypt, Tunisia or Morocco, "said John Kester, head of trends market and competitiveness of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), whose headquarters is located in Madrid. The WTO estimated an overall increase of 7% of foreign tourists in the Mediterranean. In the ranking, France (includes Paris) continues to lead, followed by Spain, Italy and Turkey, but Kester highlights emerging destinations such as Croatia, an increase of 12%, or Cyprus, the number of visitors has grown this year by 13 %.

" Spain is undoubtedly one of the biggest beneficiaries of this transfer of sun and sand tourists in Tunisia and Morocco, says Kester, mainly the Canaries during the first months of the year. " But it was not the only factor causing the increase in foreign tourists close to 8%, which amounts to 20% on the islands. "Spain came to lose 10% in two years, which is recovering now tourists had stopped coming," he says.

"Interest in North African countries has been diverted to other destinations in the Mediterranean, but we believe that Spain is an attraction in itself, in addition, we have also seen an increase in domestic tourism because the Spanish do not travel far," says a source price comparison of the remedy.

For its part, the European tour operator Tui points to a sharp fall in reserves in Egypt, 24% through September, while data begins to glimpse more positive in Tunisia, where the drop in reserves this season is only 7% less.

From the tourism agency in Turkey claim that "the increase in tourists is not just the conflict in northern Africa," because, unlike Spain and other coastal destinations, maintains a stable growth path for years. "The goal is to reach 30 million tourists this year or next," said a spokesman for the tourist office, stressing that its main transmitter is Russia, one of the fastest growing markets, ahead of the Europeans, as English and German.

Greece, after suffering declines the previous two years, relies on tourism to bring dynamism to its economy. According to figures from the Ministry of Tourism, the number of arrivals of foreign visitors to Greek airports recorded an increase of 10% this year. Highlights 28% more tourists to the island of Rhodes, Kos 26% to 14% and Crete, whereas arrivals at Athens fell by 3% for fear of protests and strikes, which are concentrated in the capital. Italy and Portugal, to a lesser extent also welcome tourists shying away from North Africa. "Italy has had a more stable during the crisis," concluded Kester.

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