London and Paris continue to be the most popular European destinations for American travelers this summer, but the remaining spots on the Top 20 list saw significant movement from 2017. This year, Reykjavik, Iceland jumped from 17th to third, Barcelona, Spain slipped from fifth to seventh and Nice, France cracked the Top 20 for the first time to come in at 11th.
We reviewed trips planned during the 2018 summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, revealing that the number of American travelers visiting Reykjavik has grown significantly in the last few years. Ranked 28th in 2015, the destination cracked the top 20 in 2016 and 2017, when it ranked 16th and 17th, respectively. Thanks in part to increased direct airlift from the U.S. to the island nation, Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes and colorful city homes have been trending on social media in recent years. Despite talk of overtourism and discussion to potentially limit the number of annual visitors to the country, Reykjavik’s popularity continues to rise this summer.
Barcelona’s fall in rankings from fifth in 2016 and 2017 to seventh in 2018, may have been caused by several recent incidents. In the last year, Barcelona experienced a terrorist attack in the popular Las Ramblas area; political turmoil as Catalonia attempted to cede from Spain; and organized street protests in Barcelona, where residents who are vastly outnumbered by visitors expressed concerns about overtourism and preserving their way of life.
Nice lands on the list for the first time, with nearly 2 percent of the analyzed trips flying into the city in Southern France this summer. This suggests that American perception of the city’s safety has recovered from the 2016 terrorist truck attack during the city’s Bastille Day celebration.
The top 20 destinations in Europe for summer travel are led by London, United Kingdom (19.9 percent); Paris, France (15.6 percent); and Reykjavik, Iceland (7.6 percent); followed by Rome, Italy (7.1 percent); Amsterdam, Netherlands (6.6 percent); Dublin, Ireland (6.1 percent); Barcelona, Spain (4.7 percent); Athens, Greece (3.0 percent); Madrid, Spain (2.8 percentage); Frankfurt, Germany (2.2 percent); Nice, France (2.0 percent); Zurich, Switzerland (2.0 percent); Edinburgh, United Kingdom (1.8 percent); Milan, Italy (1.7 percent); Munich, Germany (1.6 percent); Prague, Czech Republic (1.5 percent); Venice, Italy (1.5 percent); Berlin, Germany (1.4 percent); Copenhagen, Denmark (1.3 percent); and Florence, Italy (1.1 percent).
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