Virtuoso Breaks Down Top 10 Destinations for Summer Travel

Lake Como Italy
Italy is the number one destination this summer, says Virtuoso. // Photo by eurotravel/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Looking for a hot destination to pitch your clients this summer? Virtuoso has released its predictions for the top 10 destinations for summer travel this year.

Based on more than $39.7 billion transactions on future bookings, here are Virtuoso’s predictions on where travelers will head this year:

  1. Italy
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Spain
  5. South Africa
  6. Germany
  7. Ireland
  8. Canada
  9. Netherlands
  10. Denmark

Europe dominated the list, with eight of the top 10 countries. Italy, the UK, France and Spain in particular are perennially popular destinations due to their strong natural and cultural attractions, Virtuoso said. The continued strength of the dollar against the Euro and the pound also continues to drive travel to Europe, while popular river cruise destinations like Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark also draw travelers.

South Africa is drawing interest for its strong safari and adventure travel offerings, according to Virtuoso, while, closer to home, Canada is enjoying heightened interest around the country’s 150th anniversary.

The findings track with a number of other recent studies on what to expect out of the summer travel season. In AAA’s recent forecast of the strongest Memorial Day travel weekend since 2005, four out of the top 10 Memorial Day destinations were in Europe – Rome, London, Dublin and Paris.

At the same time, Allianz Global Assistance’s recent preview of summer travel found that Mexico and the Caribbean were much more dominant. Eight out of 10 top international summer destinations in the Allianz study were in Mexico and the Caribbean, with only London and Paris making the list for European destinations.

Data is sourced from Virtuoso’s U.S.-based travel agency members and reflects future travel between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays in 2017. The findings were announced during the network’s annual Symposium, which recently took place in Vancouver, British Columbia.