Stats: Italy Tops Europe Destinations for 2017

Photo by bluejayphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Eurobound has released a look at the top luxury trends in Europe this year, based on the company’s internal booking data. 

Food and wine experiences are expected to surpass art and culture in 2017 as areas of interest for luxury travelers to Europe, the company reports. Additionally, Italy placed top (25%) in sales for Eurobound travelers in 2016, with France a close second (20%), Spain in third place (15%), and the UK fourth (10%). Ireland, Croatia, and Scandinavia are destinations coming up strong for 2017, Brigitte Armand, Eurobound president, said in a written release. While tourism to France experienced a slight downturn, Armand said that this is a great time to visit, with museums and concert venues in full swing, and fewer tourists.

Given the heightened interest in wine and food, Eurobound plans to expand its Epicurean Collection of customized packages to France, Italy, and Spain in 2017. Introduced in 2016, the Collection offers itineraries with accommodations in Italian wine estates, French chateaux, or ancient castles.  Packages may include special dinners highlighting regional cuisine, private visits to vineyards, personal meetings with wine makers, cheese tastings and cooking classes.

Eurobound’s 2017 plans call for expanding the company’s offerings into lesser-known towns and villages. 

“Much of our clientele are repeat travelers to Europe.  They want to discover the ‘hidden Europe’ that most travelers don’t see, such as typical villages off the beaten path,” said Jeff Roy, Eurobound’s vice president, sales and marketing. 

The company recently introduced its “Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages” initiative of self-drive itineraries that include Sardinia, San Marino, and the Chianti and the Casentino Valley in Tuscany. Roy said that 2017 plans also call for adding new destinations in other countries, such as Germany and Portugal.

Now celebrating its 20th year, Eurobound provides distinctive packages and itineraries for independent travelers and small groups, sold exclusively through travel agents. The company pays commission with all documents.