Travel insights from Travel Market Report

Here Are the Top European Summer Travel Destinations for 2018

Reykjavik’s popularity with American travelers is up and Barcelona’s is down, according to an analysis by travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance. While this year's list of the top 20 European summer travel destinations saw significant movement from 2017, London and Paris continue to be the most popular for Americans this summer.

Allianz Global Assistance 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. This year, it reached third, with nearly 8 percent of analyzed trips visiting the Icelandic city, thanks in part to increased direct airlift from the U.S. to the island nation as well as otherworldly landscapes that have been trending on social media, the study said. Despite fear of overtourism and discussion to potentially limit the number of annual visitors to the country, Reykjavik's popularity continues to rise this summer.

Taking the fourth through sixth positions, respectively, were Rome, Amsterdam, and Dublin.

Barcelona fell in rankings from fifth in 2016 and 2017 to seventh in 2018. Allianz cited several recent incidents, including 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.

Rounding out the top ten European summer travel destinations were Athens, Madrid and Frankfurt.

Here is a chart detailing the rest of the findings, as well as the changes from 2015 through 2018:

City, Country2018
% of Travelers
% of Travelers
2018 Rank2017 Rank2016 Rank2015 Rank
London, United Kingdom 19.93% 15.3% 1 1 1 1
Paris, France 15.57% 9.6% 2 2 2 2
Reykjavik, Iceland 7.56% 1.5% 3 17 16 28
Rome, Italy 7.08%; 8.2% 4 3 3 3
Amsterdam, Netherlands 6.64% 4.5% 5 7 7 9
Dublin, Ireland 6.05% 4.6% 6 6 4 5
Barcelona, Spain 4.71% 4.6% 7 5 5 6
Athens, Greece 2.96% 4.7% 8 4 6 7
Madrid, Spain 2.75% 3.0% 9 8 9 8
Frankfurt, Germany 2.22% 2.9% 10 9 8 4
Nice, France 1.99% N/A 11 - - -
Zurich, Switzerland 1.99% 2.6% 12 11 13 5
Edinburgh, United Kingdom 1.77% 1.8% 13 16 15 14
Milan, Italy 1.72% 2.0% 14 13 11 10
Munich, Germany 1.61% 2.2% 15 12 12 13
Prague, Czech Republic 1.54% 1.1% 16 20 20 20
Venice, Italy 1.51% 2.6% 17 10 10 11
Berlin, Germany 1.44% N/A 18 - 19 9
Copenhagen, Denmark 1.29% 1.9% 19 14 14 12
Florence, Italy 1.13% N/A 20 - - -

The data of U.S. travelers' 2018 summer travel plans was gathered by analyzing the number of travelers that went through the online booking process of airfare and packaged paths for partners offering Allianz Global Assistance travel to generate itineraries for roundtrip flights departing from U.S. airports between May 28 and Sept. 3, 2018.

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