Spain and Greece target struggling Brits – ‘cheaper than the heating’

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Tourism officials in Spain and Greece are targeting Britons in a new campaign. The sunny holiday destinations hope to attract Britons looking to escape their soaring energy bills.

‘Thermal tourism’ is a trend where British people fly to cheaper and warmer European countries to escape the UK winter.

Greece’s tourism minister, Vassilis Kikilias told The Observer: “Our doors are open 12 months round, our friends in northern Europe should know this. They should head here for winter.”

A Greek advertising campaign reads: “Wanna feel 20 again? With warm winter temperatures up to 20 degrees, Greece is the place to be.”

The campaign shows an older couple on a yacht, eating watermelon and drinking wine.

Greece has previously announced its plans to expand its tourism market to the winter months.

Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kos and Crete are all expected to be on the list for ‘thermal tourists’ this winter.

Spain has similar plans with one official telling The Observer: “From what we’re seeing, people are realising that it’s cheaper to come here than to put the heating on at home.”

He said some hotels and restaurants in popular tourist areas would be staying open throughout the winter.

According to the officials, tourists may find it cheaper to spend the winter in southern Europe than to put the heating on at home.

The cost of living crisis has put pressure on many Britons with many fearing they may be unable to afford their energy bills.

Retirees have always escaped the UK for warmer climes with some Britons owning winter homes in resort areas such as Benidorm in Spain.

Known as ‘swallows’, some retired Britons chose to fly to Spain for four to five months during the winter.

However, this plan has been threatened for some by Brexit due to harsh limits on the length of time Britons can spend in the EU.

British citizens can only spend 90 out of every 180 days in the Schengen area since the UK left the EU.

Energy tourists will need to be careful not to be gone for longer than three months as they could be fined for doing so.

People who overstay the 90-day limit could also be detained or even banned from reentering the Schengen zone.

Temperatures in Crete average highs of 14 degrees and lows of seven degrees meaning energy tourists probably won’t be spending long afternoons at the beach.

However, it will be considerably warmer than the UK where Britons could see temperatures drop lower than two degrees.

Spain’s Canary Islands could be the perfect destination for ‘thermal tourists’ as the temperature rarely drops below 16 degrees in December.

Tourists could even enjoy temperatures above 20 degrees and have no need to put the heating on.

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