Norway set to top European travel spending

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The Independent Online

Norwegians will spend the most on their holidays in 2010, according to the results of a study released April 21.

Norway's holidaymakers are set to spend €1,692 a head on travel this year, compared to a European average of €709. The French will spend €1,364 and the Danes €1,345.

Perhaps unsurpringsly, the high-spending holiday habits of northern Europeans are not reflected in their sun-drenched cousins - Italy and Spain will spend €500 and €451 respectively on travel.

Britain, hard hit by the economic crisis and faced with a significantly weakened currency, will spent €700 on average per person. Polish people will spend the least on travel, an average of €100 a head.

The figures were compiled by price comparison site Kelkoo as part of a study into the future of the travel industry post-recession. It suggests that in total, France, Germany and Britain lead the sector, together accounting for 58 percent of travel expenditure in the 27-member European bloc.

Kelkoo chief Bruce Fair says that the sales are likely to fall again in 2010, but that isn't necessarily bad news for consumers as competition amongst firms will be tough:

"The good news is that travel operators have reacted to the situation by offering substantial discounts, driving down the cost of travel for European consumers. We expect this trend to continue in 2010 as travel companies and airlines aggressively compete with each other and the online sector to entice new customers. The internet offers consumers lower prices and greater choice."

The research also backs up previous studies that have shown users turning to the internet to book their travel. Online travel spending has soared from €58.4 billion in 2008 to €66.9 billion in 2009 and is forecast to reach €74.3 billion by the end of 2010 - a year-on-year rise of some 11 percent.