Although such deals may not have an immediate impact, the psychological impact can encourage travel, says the World Tourism Network.
Did Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania just switch perceptions for a successful winter tourism season in Europe?
Freezing temperatures are a reality in many parts of the European Union, the UK and beyond. At the same time, the war between Russia and Ukraine is spiraling out of control, threatening energy supplies not only to Ukraine but to the rest of Europe.
While the best winter thrill destinations have been announced, the ongoing winter travel season is now being successfully tested in Europe.
Some of the world’s sunshine travel destinations are urging Europeans to turn off their electricity. They want Germans, British and other Europeans to leave winter at home and enjoy warmer climates for remote and energy-saving working holidays.
The European Union is standing firm against Russian aggression, which could mean an unstable future for energy supplies to the bloc.
After Europe’s booming extended summer tourist season, the winter outlook is uncertain. Rising fuel rates and inflation will push accommodation and travel costs higher, reducing savings due to a strong US dollar.
Travelers usually avoid destinations with unpredictable problems. In Europe, it is the anticipated energy crisis.
Many would-be travelers choose to stay at home to cope with rising fuel costs
Travel and tourism leaders such as the World Tourism Network therefore welcomed the finalization of an agreement on Saturday by the leaders of Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan on an undersea electricity connector that could become a new source of energy for the European Union.
A cable running under the Black Sea connects Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania.
Azerbaijan plans to export electricity from offshore wind farms to Europe via Georgia and a cable under the Black Sea, then to Romania and Hungary.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis’ office told journalists that the agreement between the four countries provides an “economic and technical framework” for the undersea power cable project.
“This project aims to diversify energy supplies and increase regional energy security.”
Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz has signed an agreement with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR to receive natural gas through the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, with deliveries starting on January 1. Romgaz said it would serve “strategic goals” of diversifying natural gas resources. .
According to an AP report, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in August that Azerbaijan will produce “large amounts of green electricity” with offshore wind farms and that Hungary is fulfilling that by signing a connector project that could bring that power to Europe. Two EU Member States are required to participate for the investment to receive EU funds.
Unfortunately, this project to expand energy supplies in a carbon-neutral way will take up to four years to complete.
This week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto will meet with officials from both Qatar and Oman.
The upcoming talks will be about the future import of oil and natural gas to Hungary from the two Middle Eastern countries.
Hungary currently gets 85% of its natural gas and more than 60% of its oil from Russia.