Nice, France (photo credit: Mbighin/Dreamstime.com)
They have finally admitted it. After weeks of denying that recent terrorist attacks have reduced tourism both to, and within, Europe, a number of prominent figures in travel have candidly described the undeniable declines in bookings for accommodations and flights all throughout the continent. In some countries, like Turkey, the declines have been massive. In Belgium they have been substantial. In other countries, the reduction is palpable. Although it is far too late to do anything about the decline this year, plans are already being made to reduce the number of European cruises and tours planned for next year.
Thus, several cruise lines have already reduced the number of Mediterranean cruises they will be offering next spring and summer. Their decision is based on the numerous cancellations they have received for current Mediterranean cruises. Other cruise lines will be moving additional ships from Europe to the Caribbean at an earlier time.
Paradoxically, these decisions have reduced the prices and travel opportunities being offered to Americans who are determined to continue vacationing in Europe, and who believe that the chances of experiencing terrorism are so minimal as to make such travel completely safe for the overwhelming percentage of people. If you're among those who are determined not to permit the terrorists to interfere with your lives, you can now travel better to Europe than at any other recent time. Hotels have vacancies, airlines empty seats, and Americans are enjoying well-priced, enjoyable European travels free from danger.
Closer to home, the prospect of enjoyable Caribbean vacations has been especially improved by the greater capacity resulting from the transfer of ships. So much Caribbean travel is being offered that prices are more moderate than recently, especially to three relatively recent newcomers to popular travel: Panama, Costa Rica, and Cuba.
Panama has been made especially intriguing by the recent completion on the Panama Canal of new locks widened to permit passage by the largest of ships. From the center of Panama City, an inexpensive taxi will take you to one of those locks, and later a trip of less than an hour's duration brings you to excellent beach resorts and exotic indigenous communities.
In Costa Rica, easily visited by air from the U.S., facilities have been improved and enlarged, and vacationers are discovering the unique beach pleasures and ecological adventures of that nation.
And finally, as we've mentioned before in this blog, it is now only a matter of short weeks before scheduled air service begins from several U.S. cities to Havana. Travelers are also learning that rooms in the apartments of Cuban families are increasingly available to Americans making use of such room-finding services as Airbnb.com.
Americans who are determined to continue traveling to international destinations will find that European and Caribbean vacations are now available to them at excellent low rates.