Vacations in the sun are the stuff that dreams are made of. When the weather turns cold and snow is on the ground, we shiver and daydream about relaxing on the beach. But money often stands in the way of such dreams and we end up scanning the pages of tourist magazines.
But, what could happen if your sunny destination gave you a subsidy to come visit, to prop up local tourism. Suddenly the prospect of a vacation turns from reverie to actuality.
That's what happened to Tarsylia Juszkiewicz from Warsaw, Poland, who was given 130 euros ($175) to travel with three friends to Malaga on the warm Andalusia coast, where she spent eight days in a 4-star hotel. The subsidy filled in the money she received from her children. The Spanish government paid the 130 euros extra directly to Spanish tourism organisations.
"We can warm our old bones a bit in the sun," joked Irmina Piatek, Tarsylia's friend, to AFP News Agency. "In Spain, it's still warm with the temperature at 24 degrees C (75.2 F). Now we have to get used to Polish weather once again and the temperatures are around zero. Paradise is finished!" she exclaimed to the news media.
EST project employee, Edyta Romanowska, told AFP: "Spain is also really benefiting. Each euro spent on a senior visitor earns Spain 1.30 euros or more indirectly," she added. "The goal is to give the hotel sector some business in the off-season and to create jobs."
Other Europeans are benefitting, too. "Romanians and Bulgarians also responded enthusiastically this year," Romanowska told the news source, stating "the Eastern European market has huge potential and a bright future."