Lifestyle March, 23rd 2010 by

Spanish economic woes cheer Euro tourists

The Spanish have cause to worry, but there is one economic sector that is expecting to gain from Spain’s economic woes: Tourism.

In an attempt to lure holidaymakers from the U.K. and the rest of western Europe who stayed away in 2008 and 2009, resorts and other businesses that rely on tourism have begun to slash prices on everything from food to rooms. The high euro exchange rate has discouraged vacationers for the last two years, but the ailing Spanish economy is offsetting that trend, with the 2010 season promising to be more lucrative.

In 2008, Turkey became the UK’s most popular holiday ­destination, edging out Spain. But the economic downturn means costs are falling compared to those of other European countries, creating bargains for tourists.

According to the latest tourism industry statistics, prices in Spain have fallen by 24 percent in the last year, the steepest fall in the eurozone. The cost of a hotel room in Alicante or Costa del Sol, including Marbella, has fallen by as much as eight percent.

British tourists are especially likely to feel some relief in Spain. The value of the British pound has fallen from 1.15  to 1.12 euros, after a plunge to less than one euro in early 2009. The cheaper currency means British tourists need fewer euros. 

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