Virtuoso Predicts Top 10 Destinations for U.S. Travelers This Summer

Lake Como Italy
Lake Como, Italy // Photo by eurotravel/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Virtuoso has mined its data warehouse of more than $39.7 billion in transactions to reveal its predicted top choices for U.S. travelers during the upcoming 2017 summer getaway season. Of the top 10, all but two are in Europe.

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

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

According to global travel market research company Phocuswright, seven in 10 travelers “have a strong wanderlust to see the world.” Finding Europe dominated the top 10 doesn’t come as a surprise for summer travel (whereas winter is dominated by warmer destinations). Italy, U.K., France, and Spain are perennially popular countries and, as identified by Phocuswright, offer “natural and cultural attractions,” which is a popular influencer among Americans traveling abroad.

The relative strength of the U.S. dollar against both the euro and British pound also makes the continent a particularly appealing destination for 2017.

South Africa bookings for summer travel continue to rise strongly, as the countries checks off the desire for natural attractions—most notably for its scenery and safaris.

Countries with large cities on rivers benefit from a robust river cruise market, as those cruisers are extending their stays with pre- and post-cruise vacations. Notably, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark are reaping the benefits.

Ireland maintains a solid ranking due to its “historic charm and lively culture.”

Rounding out the top 10 is Canada, whose strong showing is due to its proximity to the U.S., and the fact that the country just celebrated its 150th anniversary. It doesn’t hurt that the dollar has strong purchasing power, too.

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 Global Leadership Symposium, which recently took place in Vancouver, British Columbia.