Greece and Spain are the two top destinations for European summer vacation. Credit: Dimitra Damian/Greek Reporter
Greece and Spain are the most popular tourist destinations for Europeans, according to the TUI Holiday Atlas Summer 2022, for which the most popular holiday destinations of European TUI guests are evaluated.
The TUI Group is a British-German leisure, travel, and tourism company. The group owns the largest vacation airplane fleet in Europe and has multiple European tour operators.
According to the survey, the most popular destination overall is the Greek island of Crete, followed by Mallorca. The top five destinations also include the Canary Islands, Rhodes, and Antalya.
TUI hopes to double the number of tourists to Greece in 2022
TUI is hoping to double tourism to Greece in the coming year, CEO Friedrich Joussen announced during a virtual meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in January.
The company believes that 3 million tourists will come to Greece in 2022, which is double the 1.5 million travelers who visited in 2021.
That figure even exceeds the number of tourists who visited the country before the pandemic, in the record year for tourism in 2019.
Greece: Preferred tourism destination from France, Nordic countries
Greece continues last year’s strong trend and is preferred particularly by guests from the Nordic countries and France. In addition to Crete, Rhodes and Kos are in high demand, TUI says.
In Spain, the Balearic Islands dominate, especially Mallorca. Mallorca remains the favorite destination for German guests, while Spain overall is number one for Belgians. Turkey is making a clear comeback, especially with the British and Dutch but also with German guests. The most popular destinations are Antalya and the Turkish Riviera.
Country-specific preferences for a vacation
Great Britain: British tourists are heading to the Turkish Riviera this year, particularly to Dalaman, followed by Egypt and Greece. The British are also booking long-haul destinations such as Mexico and Florida, Mauritius and the Maldives, which is a strong indication of the gradual comeback of long-haul vacations.
Germany, Austria, Switzerland: German guests are heading to the Mediterranean. Mallorca is currently the top destination for German vacationers, followed by Antalya, which is making a strong comeback.
The island of Crete is the third most popular choice for German tourists. The top five holiday destinations include two other Greek islands, Rhodes and Kos. Due to the positive trend in bookings already received for the Easter holidays, TUI is starting the summer season in Greece earlier than before and is already departing for Crete, Rhodes and Kos at the beginning of April.
Greece is also particularly popular with Austrians. In addition, Austrian TUI guests have also expressed a desire to fly to Antalya this year, followed by Majorca and the Croatian Adriatic coast, which is once again one of the five most popular holiday destinations for Austrian vacationers this year.
The top destination for TUI guests from Switzerland is currently Greece, especially the island of Kos, followed by Majorca and Antalya. Bookings of holidays to Turkey and Spain have doubled compared to last year.
Nordic countries: As in previous years, Greece is the number one destination for Finns, Danes, Norwegians and Swedes. Especially Crete, Rhodes and the island of Samos are in demand among Northern Europeans, followed by Mallorca and Antalya.
In addition to Greece, Spain and Turkey, Croatia and Cyprus are among the five most popular holiday destinations this year. Among Swedish and Finnish TUI guests, Cyprus ranks even second in bookings after Greece.
Netherlands: In the Netherlands, Turkey has seen a significant increase in vacation bookings. The country is traditionally a very popular holiday destination for Dutch travelers. In addition to the Turkish Riviera, the Dutch are also traveling to Mallorca, the Greek islands and Portugal this year. The Netherlands Antilles, with the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, are also very popular this year.
Belgium: Spain is the most popular vacation destination for Belgian TUI guests in the coming summer season. In order to meet the growing demand for Spanish destinations, TUI Belgium has further increased flight capacity by deploying additional or larger aircraft — especially to Tenerife, Gran Canaria and the Costa del Sol.
In addition to Spain, Greece is also very popular as a vacation destination. A quarter of TUI’s Belgian guests are flying to the Greek islands this year. Turkey’s comeback is also impressive, with around 20 percent more bookings than at the same time in the pre-crisis year 2019. The Turkish Riviera shines with high-quality all-in resorts and excellent value for money. Tunisia is also back in the list of the five most popular destinations for Belgian TUI guests.
France: As last year, Greece is the top destination for French TUI guests again – especially the Greek Mainland and the island of Crete. French TUI guests are also attracted to Sicily, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. TUI’s own club hotels under the Club Marmara and Lookéa brands are particularly popular with French TUI guests. Nine more hotels will be added to the 26 club hotels worldwide this year. Bookings in the two French hotel brands are already 20 per cent higher than last year.
Demand for higher-value vacations
Overall, TUI says that it has seen good demand in all European countries in recent weeks and at the same time a trend towards higher-value vacations.
It adds that TUI guests are planning a higher budget for their summer vacations. At the end of January, average prices for the summer were still up on the previous year at +22%.
The reasons for this are the product mix as well as the increased demand for higher-value offers and more additional services — for example, upgrades in the hotel or room category as well as excursions and activities in the holiday regions.
The trend towards short-term bookings continues, and TUI expects summer 2022 to be close to pre-pandemic levels.