After three years of pandemic travel restrictions and rocketing energy costs, tourism is booming as sun-seekers make up for lost time.
Early bookings suggest Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal could receive record tourism revenues this year with the luxury end of the market gaining in popularity.
In Italy, the travel industry was worth €100bn, while in Greece, tourism accounts for no less than one-fifth of gross domestic product before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the sector to its knees.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Italy was up 70.5% in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2022, and if the trend continues, Italy could match or surpass pre-pandemic levels.
Portugal registered more than 2.8m foreign visitors from January to March, the best first quarter on record while in Spain, the flow of international tourists in the first quarter increased by 41.2% over the same period in 2022 and exceeded 13.7m visitors.
Airlines such as Lufthansa, easyJet and Ryanair have also all confirmed robust summer bookings.