If travel prices have got you down in the dumps, I have some good news for you: there are some great deals to be had in a handful of countries. SmartMoney recently listed four countries that are eagerly looking to attract tourists because of rocky financial situations. Here they are:
- Iceland: "North American travelers have more or less doubled their money," according to Sif Gústavsson, a spokeswoman for Visit Iceland. Although currency exchange will play in your favor, the capital Reykjavik is still quite an expensive city so you might want to keep that in mind. Last year's hotel rates have decreased by 26 percent from 2008, says Smith Travel Research.
- Greece: Tourism is a big mainstay for Greece — it makes up a fifth of its income. There's been a drop in tourists so the country is trying to entice visitors with travel deals. "We're seeing Greece deals almost every week," Angela Lyda, the senior editor for Travel-Ticker.com, tells SmartMoney. Airports have waived some fees for landing and takeoff, which will reduce airfare prices. Further, the hotel value-added tax in Greece has decreased, which means lower hotel costs. However, you might want to watch out for some of the strikes going on across the country, which can result in delays and cancellations of flights and ferries.
- Ireland: Just like the US, Ireland has been hit hard by a subprime mortgage crisis. Tourism is a valuable part of their economy so there are a lot of travel deals springing up. Last year's hotel prices have dropped five percent from 2009, says Hotels.com.
- Portugal: "Capital city Lisbon boasts some of the best five-star room rates worldwide with average prices of $169 per night, 4% cheaper than in 2009, according to Hotels.com," writes SmartMoney. The country is trying to dig itself out of the red — it's discussing a $115.8 billion bailout package from the EU — through tourism, which means more deals for travelers.
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