Europe Dominating Summer Travel Plans, Virtuoso Says

Echoing the findings of Allianz Partner’s “Top 10 Summer European Destinations” review that found travel to Europe will be up 600 percent over last year, luxury travel agency network Virtuoso says the continent is the biggest draw for its clients this summer.

Digging into its data warehouse of more than $49.5 billion in travel bookings, Virtuoso pinpointed the top 10 domestic and international destinations for the season as travel sees “an unprecedented resurgence.” Beyond Europe, Virtuoso reports that “A-list” destinations like Africa, Australia and Alaska—which were unavailable to Americans last year—are now ones to watch.

Top 10 U.S. Destinations for Summer 2022:                            

  1. California
  2. Hawaii
  3. Florida
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Colorado
  6. Washington
  7. Montana
  8. South Carolina
  9. New York
  10. Alaska

A trend Virtuoso has been tracking throughout the pandemic is the shift from destination seasonality caused by the pandemic and its impact on the travel cycle. Traditional ski destinations like Colorado and Montana are emerging as summer playgrounds while southeastern states, including South Carolina and Florida, continue to be popular into the warmer months. Meanwhile, Alaska cracks the top 10 without even taking into account the cruising season, which is how most travelers experience the state. Washington’s surge in bookings is likely in support of the Alaska summer season, as many travelers choose to stay over and enjoy the “Evergreen State.” Overall, though, California leads the way for summer travel by offering amazing diversity throughout the state, from expansive beaches to culturally rich cities, not to mention its best food and wine offerings.

Top 10 Destinations for Summer 2022:

  1. United States
  2. Italy
  3. France
  4. Canada
  5. Greece
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Spain
  8. Mexico
  9. Ireland
  10. Switzerland

While Americans are continuing to explore the splendor of the U.S., it’s the return to European summer vacations following a two-year hiatus that is clearly garnering the most excitement. With seven of the top 10 destinations located in Europe, pent-up demand is outweighing any concerns associated with the conflict in Ukraine. Neighboring Canada, which was also off-limits to U.S. travelers last summer, is making its return to the list. And to the south, Mexico remains a yearlong favorite.

All data is based on hotel bookings made by Virtuoso-affiliated U.S. leisure travelers and includes travel for June, July and August 2022.

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