Trafalgar has lowered its Europe tour prices for the second
year in a row, largely due to a strong dollar against the euro and British pound.
The tour operator, which released its Europe and Britain
brochures last week, said that 2017 tours are 4% to 12% less expensive than
this year’s. The decrease is on top of an average 4% price drop in 2016.
The greatest price drops for 2017 are for U.K. itineraries,
said Trafalgar president Paul Wiseman.
“The Brexit situation is now allowing us to renegotiate both
on the currency and on product because there are some genuine fears of
uncertainty,” said Wiseman, adding that all tour prices in the U.K. have come
down at least 10% for 2017.
Last year, the dollar-euro exchange fell below 1.15 for the
first time in more than a decade and almost reached parity. And this year, the
dollar-euro exchange rate has remained below 1.15.
The dollar-pound rate fell below 1.35 following the U.K.’s
vote to leave the European Union in June. Previously, the dollar-pound rate had
hovered around 1.50 to 1.60 for much of the last five years.
But according to Wiseman, lower prices are not going to
stimulate demand alone. It helps that airfares for 2017 are also favorable
right now, but Wiseman said traveler confidence must return in order for Europe
to rebound from a softer year caused by terror attacks in France and Belgium.
“It’s going to take an effort from all of us to portray the
truth, which is it’s absolutely fine to travel to Europe. It is fine but the
perception is that it’s not,” said Wiseman. “Our message to our agents is all
about confidence … people are struggling with their confidence.”
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