Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The financial crisis - how will it affect Corsica?

The world financial crisis that is savaging the economies of Western Europe and America will no doubt leave its mark on our favourite island. The low season did not start well, with the closure of airlines Zoom and XL, both of which carry holidaymakers to Corsica.

Despite continuing efforts to diversify, the Corsican economy remains very dependent on tourism, and in particular tourists from France. As holidays are an obvious target for cuts and savings in most family budgets, the outlook could be brighter.

But I'm not sure it's as bad as it might appear at first sight. Corsica has a lot going for it as Western Europe settles in for a bleak financial winter - here are some of the positives:

1. Corsica is accessible by ferry, train and car from most countries in Western Europe. Unlike some long haul destinations, Corsica's major markets are on its doorstep.

2. Wealthy (and some not so wealthy) families who usually go long haul to places like Bali, Florida and the Seychelles will be actively considering going somewhere nearer home next year for both financial and environmental reasons. Corsica could fit the bill.

3. Corsica is seen as exotic. With its menhirs, mystery, its vibrant music scene and its impossible beauty to complement its sunshine and beaches, Corsica will always have an edge over Majorca and Benidorm for people seeking more than just a beach holiday.

I could be proved wrong. But I have a feeling that despite all the doom and gloom, Corsica's hoteliers, restauranteurs ansd chambres d'Hote could enjoy quite a good season in 2009.

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