Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


European Tourism Mostly Remains Well Below 2019 Levels: Fresh Data

4 months ago

About two-thirds of European destinations remain below their pre-pandemic number of international tourist arrivals, according to the European Travel Commission’s quarterly report released Tuesday. The report covered the first nine months of 2023.

The destinations most far off from 2019 levels were Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because of the Ukraine-Russia war. All three countries rely heavily on Russian tourists.

Overall, Europe is 3.2% off and 1.3% off from its 2019 international tourist arrivals and overnight stays, respectively.

Some destinations are seeing a strong comeback. One in three surpassed their 2019 international tourist numbers. Intra-European travel and American tourists have been the key drivers. The boom was most apparent in Southern and European destinations, notably Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Malta, Montenegro, and Serbia.

The European Travel Commission expects a full recovery in 2024 despite persistent inflation and geopolitical instability.


IDEAS: Greece is Transforming Beaches to be Wheelchair-Accessible

8 months ago

A new initiative in Greece is enabling wheelchair users access to hundreds of beaches thanks to an innovative remote controlled accessibility system, as per The Greek Reporter.

Credit: Seatrac

Designed by Greek company Tobea, Seatrec is a complimentary service aimed at providing sea access to individuals with disabilities and limited mobility, allowing them to ‘swim in the sea independently, safely, and inclusively.’

You can take a look at the system in action below:

With 147 beaches already transformed and a total of 287 planned, the initiative will also see essential accessibility improvements made at beach locations including changing facilities, parking areas, ramps, and refreshment bars.

The Tourism Ministry has also created a website with further information regarding the project, along with an interactive map of accessible beaches.

At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund to Buy Majority Stake in Resort Group Valued at $2.2 Billion

1 year ago

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has acquired a majority stake in Sani/Ikos Group, a luxury beach resort group in the Mediterranean, for an undisclosed amount.

The transaction that is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval, values the Mediterranean-based luxury resort operator at $2.27 billion.

U.S.-based Oaktree Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Moonstone Investments, French private equity fund Florac and UK-based Hermes Global Private Equity, will be selling their stakes to the Singapore sovereign wealth fund as part of this transaction.

Andreas Andreadis and Mathieu Guillemin will continue to manage the luxury beach resort group as CEOs and co-managing partners, while Stavros Andreadis, who was earlier the managing director of the hotel group, will become honorary chairman, according to a Sani/Ikos statement.

 The three came on board first when Greece-based Sani Resort and Ikos Resorts merged in January 2016.

Speaking about as the hotel group’s efforts to strengthen its brand and expand presence in Europe, Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer of real estate of the soverign welath fund, said, “We believe this investment will generate resilient returns and is testament to our confidence in the Greek and wider European tourism sector over the long term.”

Sani/Ikos Group develops, owns and operates 10 resorts in Halkidiki, Corfu and Kos islands in Greece, and in Marbella and Estepona in the Iberian Peninsula.