London Still Top Spot for U.S. Travelers Despite Economic Downturn

Cheap flight site reveals that London is still the most popular starting point for American tourists heading to Europe this summer. The UK capital is the most searched for European destination by U.S. users on the Skyscanner site, followed by Paris, Rome, Dublin and Frankfurt.

"Despite the recession, people who have been planning a vacation in Europe are very reluctant to sacrifice their trip, but value is more important than ever and they are determined to find the best deals out there," said Barry Smith, Skyscanner director and co-founder.

Skyscanner also examined the European destinations that have seen the sharpest rise in interest from U.S. travelers. Athens  has seen the biggest growth, up 224 percent, followed by Barcelona up 140 percent, Madrid up 138 percent, Paris up 108 percent and Dublin up 96 percent, compared to summer 2008.

Despite the economic downturn, Europe has become cheaper for U.S. travelers due to the growing strength of the U.S. dollar against European currencies. In May 2008, one Euro cost 1.55 dollars, but now costs around 1.4 dollars.

The dollar has also strengthened against the British pound; in May 2008, one pound cost almost two dollars. Now, one pound costs only 1.6 dollars.


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