Tourists are evacuated as a huge forest fire rages on the Greek island of Rhodes on July 22, 2023.

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Warm conditions in southern Europe could accelerate a growing trend among holidaymakers, as more tourists prefer milder temperatures or travel in the off-season to avoid spending time in the sweltering heat.

Europe is currently experiencing some of the hottest summer temperatures on record with yet another heat wave expected for the mercury to approach record highs in the coming days.

An intense and prolonged heat wave recently brought temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in parts of Greece, eastern Spain and Sardinia and Sicily in southern Italy.

Data The European Travel Commission, a Brussels-based non-profit organization, showed earlier this month that the number of travelers planning to travel between June and November this year fell by 4% compared to 2022, but remained high at 69%.

Spain was the most popular travel destination, with 8% of respondents planning to holiday there in the coming months, ETC said. The southern European country was closely followed by France (7%), Italy (7%), Greece (5%) and Croatia (5%).

However, the popularity of Mediterranean holiday destinations fell by 10% compared to last year, when Europe. experienced its hottest summer on record.

In Estonia, the Baltic country’s average summer temperatures are usually around 20 degrees Celsius and the mercury rarely exceeds 30 degrees Celsius.

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Meanwhile, ETC said holiday destinations such as the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland and Demark have seen a surge in popularity, which it attributes to travelers seeking less crowded destinations and seeking cooler climates.

The trade organization also said many planning trips in the coming months were looking for more affordable experiences or considering off-season travel to stretch their budgets.

Almost a quarter of ETC survey respondents said they were concerned about the overall increase in travel costs, while 8% cited possible extreme weather conditions.

“Every Holiday Flight Makes Global Warming Worse”

The rescuers fought devastating forest fires for the last week in Greece – one of the most popular Mediterranean holiday destinations.

Huge fires on the Greek island of Rhodes forced an unprecedented evacuation of about 19,000 people on Sunday, with fires also breaking out on the islands of Evia and Corfu.

This left many vacationers stuck in limbo, with BBC announced on Monday that people who were forced to leave their hotels over the weekend have since been sleeping at the airport, as well as in sports halls, conference centers and on the street.

Tourists wait in an airport departure hall as evacuations are underway due to wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes on July 23, 2023.

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“You’ll be dealing with this more and more if you’re holidaying in southern Europe during the summer months,” Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysics and climate risk at University College London, said on Twitter.

“And every single holiday flight makes global warming worse,” he added.

Scientists say the extreme weather sweeping across the globe reaffirms the growing urgency to cut greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and deeply as possible.

It is also the World Organization of the United Nations he sayshighlights why “we must step up our efforts to help society adapt to what is unfortunately becoming the new normal”.

‘hard sell’

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