Pent-up demand promises record tourist season for southern Europe
After three years of pandemic travel restrictions and rocketing energy costs, tourism is back with a vengeance to boost the economies of southern Europe as sun-seekers make up for lost time.
Early bookings suggest Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal could receive record tourism revenues this year, helping replenish state coffers depleted by rising debt interest payments and the cost of living crisis.
What's more, there appears to be growing demand for the luxury end of the spectrum.
"Today in Italy, we have this boom in terms of tourism that is unbelievable," Carlo Messina, CEO of Italy's biggest bank Intesa SanPaolo told investment analysts in a call.
"It is impossible to find a place in a 5-star hotel if you want to make a vacation."
Tourism is vital to southern Europe's economies.
The travel industry was worth 100 billion euros ($110.08...