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Top European Countries Americans Are Thronging This Summer Despite Price Hikes and Heat

Post-pandemic, a whopping 600% more Americans (55% more than in 2021-2022) visited Europe, per a study.
UPDATED JAN 22, 2024
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Tourism in Europe has resumed in full swing and looks even better than last year. Americans are drawn to Italy, Germany, and France slightly more than the other countries in Europe, the Mastercard Economics Institute has found. The research also found that European travelers are traveling to Spain, UK, and US.

Post-pandemic, a whopping 600% more Americans (55% more than last year) visited Europe, per Forbes. Airlines are creating new packages and options in air tickets to help make European trips more affordable for people. The American craze to visit Europe has also affected airfares which are at a five-year high averaging more than $1,200, and hotel prices in Europe experiencing the largest increases during 2023.

Americans are braving these price hikes and record-breaking heatwaves across Europe to quench their wanderlust. Here's a look at the most famous countries In Europe that Americans are visiting right now.


Image Source: Pexels/Pixabay
Image Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Italy has consistently stayed at the top when it comes to European Travel destinations. The country's travel sector was worth $110.08 billion before the pandemic. The unprecedented situation hurt the sector to a great extent. However, the surge in the number of tourists is proving to be invigorating for the country's tourism sector. The number of foreign tourists visiting Italy was up 70.5% in the first two months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, according to the national statistics agency, per Reuters.

With everything the country has to offer, food still tops the list of reasons why Americans visit Italy. The country's iconic creation, pizza draws tourists in swarms. Greek Tourism Miniter Vassilis Kikilias said summer bookings were record-breaking, this year and it is only going to rise.


Pexels | Ingo Joseph
Image Source: Ingo Joseph/Pexels

Despite the high inflation and also the war in Ukraine, the travel sector is booming. Experts believe that at this rate, the numbers could be returned to what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. "We expect an Easter and a summer business which is not only very stable but loosely matches that of 2019," said the head of Lufthansa, per Reuters. 

The country is extremely popular for its tragic but historically significant memories of World War II, its numerous castles, and for housing more than 42 UNESCO World Heritage sites.


Pexels | Aleksandar Pasaric
Image Source: Aleksandar Pasaric/Pexels

Spain not only plans to go back to the numbers pre-pandemic but is also likely to surpass the number by a cool 4.7% in 2023 as compared to 2019. 

"It seems that the desire to travel has prevailed and some firms are telling us that consumers would rather stop buying a shirt or an appliance than stop traveling," Exceltur Vice President Jose Luis Zoreda said in a press conference, per Reuters.

The forecast was reportedly based on a survey of 2,000 businesses till Jan 2023. The country is getting a lot of tourists from central Europe and also Mexico.


Pexels | Atypeek Dgn
Image Source: Atypeek Dgn/Pexels

Tourism in Paris and the Île-de-France region rose in 2022 with over 44 million visitors calculated, per The Brussels Times. This represented an enormous 95% increase since 2021 (even if it is not quite at pre-pandemic levels) with French nationals from other countries visiting the most, followed by American visitors (2.4 million).

Apart from the romantic landscapes, the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower and the Versailles Palace, the country also gets tourists who are just there to taste the bread and cheese. 

United Kingdom

Pexels | Dominika Gregušová
Image Source: Dominika Gregušová/Pexels 

The country's economy relies a lot on the tourism sector. The country is not back to the pre-pandemic level but the total contribution to the GDP from the travel sector will increase by 40% compared to 2020. In 2022, tourism contributed $271.5 billion to the GDP, and this year it is set to grow by 3%, per Condor Ferries

Whether it's the iconic museums or the scenic landscapes, the country has something for everyone.