“Tourism Industry in Southern Europe Benefits from Unrest”
In the March 8, 2011 issue of The New York Times, Booz & Company Senior Partner Jürgen Ringbeck (Germany) said political turmoil continuing to spread across North Africa and other parts of the Arab world could mean an improvement in the number of tourists in Southern Europe. “If hotels smell that demand is coming back, they tend to adjust their pricing very fast,” said Ringbeck, who heads Booz & Company’s Transport, Tourism and Travel practice. That trend is most apparent in Spain, Portugal and Greece, three of the European countries whose economies are most dependent on tourism but are still reeling from the world financial crisis. Ringbeck noted that German tour operators had announced the cancellation of about 50 percent of their summer bookings for Egypt. Meantime, Turespaña, the Spanish tourism agency, estimated that 600,000 to 650,000 trips had been rebooked to Spain since the start of the protests in North Africa.