Summer Travel in Europe Surges

Summer Travel in Europe Surges

At Somewhere Beyond Vacations, we are thrilled to share the exciting news that demand for summer travel in Europe is back and stronger than ever! According to ForwardKeys, a leading travel intelligence provider and partner of the European Tourism Association (ETOA), the summer outlook for 2024 shows a robust recovery in European travel. This positive trend signifies a full return to pre-pandemic travel levels, with notable shifts in traveler preferences.

Top Destinations for Summer 2024

An analysis of flight searches from January to April 2024 reveals that London, benefiting from the excitement surrounding the Paris Olympics and excellent transport links to Paris, has seen the greatest increase in interest. Other popular destinations include:

  • Paris: Maintaining its appeal due to the Olympic Games.
  • Istanbul: Gaining popularity for its rich history and vibrant culture.
  • Rome and Milan: Both cities continue to attract visitors for their unique blend of history, art, and modernity.
  • Tenerife and Izmir: Witnessing a surge in interest as travelers seek mid-tier destinations.
  • Reykjavik and Munich: Cooler summer temperatures make these Northern European cities increasingly popular.

In Eastern Europe, cities like Tirana, Yerevan, and Tbilisi are growing in popularity, appealing to tourists with their natural and cultural heritage and affordable prices.

Trends in Travel Preferences

Data for July and August 2024 indicates a shift towards nature (up 19%) and urban destinations (up 14%) over traditional sun and beach spots (up 8%). This trend is evident across different regions, with Central/Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe experiencing significant growth in international arrivals compared to Southern Europe.

European Travelers Exploring New Horizons

Outbound travel from Europe also shows strong growth, with more travelers exploring destinations within Europe and venturing further to diverse Asian markets. Notable destinations include:

  • Beijing: Up 132%, boosted by improved connectivity and visa waivers.
  • Osaka, Bangkok, Colombo, and Kuala Lumpur: All seeing increased interest due to favorable exchange rates and improved travel conditions.
  • U.S. Markets: Cities like Chicago and Miami continue to attract European tourists.

Olivier Ponti, director of Intelligence and marketing at ForwardKeys, highlights the positive outlook for global destinations aiming to attract European tourists. The 2024 summer season is set to be a benchmark for European travel both within the region and beyond.

Rachel Read, director of Insight at ETOA, also notes the relief and excitement at seeing new travel trends emerge, free from the pandemic's shadow. The return of demand for urban destinations, particularly with the halo effect of the Paris Olympics benefiting London, is a welcome development.

Always wanted to go to Europe? See your options today.