Global travel deals publisher Travelzoo is forecasting 2017 to be the ‘Year of Eastern Europe’, with the region gaining popularity largely due to the shift in tourism away from other destinations that have been affected by acts of terror. The region is also appealing to British tourists concerned about the value of the British pound. Travelzoo deal experts say holidays in beautiful destinations such as Croatia and Bulgaria are on average 30% cheaper than ever-popular southern coastal Spain this year. Travelzoo predicts the Eastern European region will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2017.
Spain, the USA, France and Germany top the list of destinations Britons plan to book in 2017, however the Travelzoo Spring 2017 Travel Trends Survey shows nearly half of Britons are avoiding traditional Western European destinations because they’re worried over safety. For others (17%) the weakness of the British pound is the biggest influence on their choice of destination in 2017.
Croatia Top Choice in Eastern Europe
Over a third are planning a UK holiday this year, up 7% year-on-year, but millions of people prefer to travel abroad, with the Spring Travel Trends showing the Central and Eastern Europe region is growing in popularity. 13% of respondents say they plan to visit this region in 2017 and interest in Croatia has more than doubled since this time last year, making it the most popular choice in Eastern Europe.
With Travelzoo recently predicting that UK tourists could be paying at least 10% more for their holiday in 2017, due to sterling depreciation and the rising cost of oil, Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo’s General Manager, UK, said: “Seven months on from the Leave vote it’s encouraging to see Britons considering Eastern Europe as a travel destination in 2017. As flight bans to Sharm el Sheikh and Tunisia continue, and with uncertainty over the value of the pound, countries such as Croatia and Bulgaria-which operate outside of the Euro-offer better exchange rates and value for money to British tourists.”
Balkans and Poland Emerge as Holiday Destinations
The survey shows Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland to be the most popular Eastern European holiday destinations this year and 45% of Britons considering travelling there admit they would have never thought of travelling to these countries before.
Brandon-Bravo continued: “UK tourists who are now looking further east won’t be disappointed. If you take the Balkan Peninsula for example, the coastlines of Croatia and Montenegro are close to the very popular east coast of Italy. They boast the same warm weather and beautiful beaches, lakes and mountains, but holidays in this region are on average 30% cheaper than popular resorts in Spain and Italy.”
Concluding, Brandon-Bravo said: “The fact British holidaymakers are considering alternative, more affordable travel destinations this year is certainly positive news for the travel industry too-particularly after what has been a turbulent 18 months. Last year we were right about 2016 being the year of the US, so we’re confident in our prediction that 2017 will be the year Eastern Europe secures its place as a popular destination for British tourists.”