British hotel bookers are overlooking the economic downturn by giving struggling European economies a much-needed tourism boost, according to LateRooms.com. The discount hotels specialist found that bookings to countries such as Greece, Ireland and Italy showed considerable rises of up to 41%, even in the last year, while the countries have experienced some of the worst financial crises in the European market.
Recently undergoing a major political and economic overhaul, Italy’s hotel booking rates have not faltered, with their reservations rising as much as 41% in 2011. According to the figures from LateRooms.com, the Republic of Ireland also saw an increase of over 35% in hotel bookings during the year. Additionally, Greece has seen booking rates rise an average of 635% since 2007 and even in the first half of this year, when their GDP declined by 7%, the Mediterranean nation’s tourism industry continued to thrive.
LateRooms.com’s findings support feelings that European countries who are struggling through the worst economic recession of recent years are finding that the tourism industry is giving them a cause for optimism about the future. The European Travel Commission have found that, even as economic growth is slowing, the tourism industry is on the rise with levels expected to reach those which were predicted in 2008 by the end of the year*. Throughout the recession, British Travellers have continued to be major contributors to the tourism industry, with many tightening their belts in other areas but choosing to continue taking breaks abroad.
LateRooms.com Offline Marketing Manager, Lynda Matthews commented, “It brings a real feeling of optimism in such difficult economic times that by simply by taking shortbreaks to European destinations consumers can play a small part in helping Europe’s economy to get back on track. Even people in the UK tightening their belts can look to make economical trips to various European destinations, and there are plenty of hotels offering large discounts in these countries”.