Egypt has made a spectacular tourism comeback in the last few years, while Turkey and Tunisia recovered strongly last year but Spain is losing business, according to the newly-published fvw Destination Ranking 2019.
The Red Sea holidays destination has shown high double-digit growth, with a 40% rise in German visitor numbers and a 35% increase in total international visitors last year. Egypt is also the regional winner in a five-year comparison, nearly doubling the number of German arrivals and with almost one fifth more international visitors, the detailed ranking of major destinations worldwide showed.
The other big winner in the Southern Europe & North Africa region is Turkey, which is rapidly winning back business on the German market after a severe decline in 2016 and 2017. Tunisia, too, is recovering well although it has yet to reach past levels of visitors.
Other clear success stories around the Mediterranean in terms of steady growth include Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria and Malta, the Destination Ranking showed.
Much of their growth has come at the cost of Spain where high prices have driven holidaymakers to seek cheaper alternatives in the eastern Mediterranean, according to tour operators. The country remains the largest single destination in the region but suffered a drop in overnight stays by German and international visitors last year. Similarly, Portugal declined last year after high single-digit growth in recent years.
These trends appear to be continuing this year on the German market, according to the latest booking figures from tour operators. Demand is strong for Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia but is looking weak for Spain.