Virtuoso: Europe Remains Eternally Popular for Summer Travel

Skiathos Greece
Greece is the fastest-growing destination this summer. // Photo by Aetherial/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The United Kingdom, Italy and Canada are among the hottest luxury vacation destinations this summer, according to a new report from Virtuoso that is based on the luxury network’s internal booking data. While European countries continue to attract the most visitors, the ranking of the hottest locales displays surprising diversity, showcasing comeback destinations as well as others that may be starting an upward trajectory, Virtuoso said.

The Virtuoso Top 10

The most popular destinations for summer vacations based on future bookings.

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

The Top 10 Analysis: Europe remains eternally popular for summer travel, with eight countries cracking the Top 10, Virtuoso said. Its blend of landmark attractions, luxury accommodations, and distinctive cultures attracts all types of travelers from families to honeymooners and art fans to culinary enthusiasts. The boom in river cruising has boosted the popularity of countries such as Germany, opening up the opportunity to explore tucked away villages. The Netherlands draws in travelers with its beauty, charm and history. Canada also finishes strongly thanks to its cities, nature and proximity to the U.S. South Africa, already known as an adventure and family destination, is also garnering attention for its arts and culinary scene in locales like Cape Town as well.

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The Virtuoso Hot 10

The countries that have seen the largest percentage of growth in year-over-year bookings.

  1. Greece                                          
  2. Poland                                           
  3. Dominican Republic                      
  4. New Zealand                                 
  5. Zambia
  6. Morocco
  7. Turks and Caicos Islands
  8. St. Lucia
  9. Vietnam
  10. Egypt                                           

The Hot 10 Analysis: Emerging from its financial upheaval, Greece is this summer's fastest-growing destination due to pent-up demand, Virtuoso said. Poland is also seeing luxury traveler growth. It offers the same history as the rest of the continent, but with better value and less-touristed sights. As adventurers seek the next great African safari destination, they're turning to Zambia, which has varied experiences alongside new luxury infrastructure. Travelers escaping the harried pace of daily life are fueling the popularity of island nations such as the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and St. Lucia, all of which had minimal to no impact from the September 2017 hurricanes. 

Data is sourced from Virtuoso's U.S. and Canadian travel agency members and reflects future travel for June, July and August 2018.

Source: Virtuoso

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