A recent New York Times article explains that some European countries are trying to encourage tourism to help out their struggling economies by offering great deals on hotels and tourism in their cities. Local tour companies are also offering deals in order to boost sales during hard times. You can find the NY Times article here, but you may have to log in to read it. We’ve summarized the deals below.
Ireland’s tourism was severely truncated by the Icelandic volcano eruption last year. Down more than a million visitors from the year before, the Irish tourism industry is anxious to get your business. For example, Sceptre Tours is offering a package deal that includes airfare from New York, accommodations in a villa for six nights, and a week’s car rental. And for all of this, they’re charging only $899 (if four are traveling – they also offer packages from 2 to 6 people). Visit their site to see available dates and learn more.
CIE Tours International is also offering some amazing tours of the United Kingdom, including a discount for couples traveling to Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales. Finally, Ashford Castle has reduced its rates across the board, meaning that you can rent the same room for more than a hundred dollars less than normal pricing. Check out their websites for details.
According to the Portuguese National Tourist Office, hotel rates have come down between 14 and 18 percent of late. A night at the brand new LX Boutique Hotel starts at just 80 euros. The Bussaco Palace Hotel is offering an “affordable luxury” package from 120 euros a night that includes buffet breakfast, a bottle of wine and a free upgrade to a larger room when available.
For deals on less traditional accommodations, visit Pousadas.pt. A group run by the government, they showcase more unique places to stay like castles, manor houses, and old monasteries that have been converted for travelers. The group is offering reduced prices through March.
In an attempt to help out a struggling economy, the Greek government has lowered its VAT Tax (a tax that hotels charge tourists) from 11 percent to only 6.5 percent. The economy has also prompted hotels to lower their own rates before the tax breaks. For example, world class resort, Elounda Beach has slashed its rates. As have the Tablet Hotel and the hotel Periscope. And finally, if you’re looking for activities, Viator.com is offering discounts on excursions from Athens.