Europe a Hot Ticket for U.S. Travelers in 2010 According to TripAdvisor Survey
Volcanic Ash Doesn't Deter Tourists: 60 Percent Taking European Trips in the Coming Year, Up 10 Percent from Last Year
33 Percent Wooed by More Favorable Exchange Rates
NEWTON, Mass., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual European travel survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents. Trans-Atlantic trips look to be more popular in 2010, with 60 percent planning to visit Europe in the coming 12 months, up from 50 percent who did so last year. The majority of travelers appear undeterred by the recent volcanic ash cloud, with just six percent reconsidering their European trips as a result. Thirty-three percent say more favorable exchange rates have increased their interest in traveling to Europe this year.
Fall is the peak season for European travel, with 54 percent planning a leisure trip in September or October.
38 percent of those planning trips to Europe will travel in May or June.
TripAdvisor Flights data shows that the most searched for destinations in Europe are London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Madrid.
The most up-and-coming travel destinations in Europe are Istanbul, Zurich, Seville, Athens and Copenhagen, based on increases in search activity on TripAdvisor.
Americans Bolder Overseas
Travelers embrace the sights and sounds of Europe with open arms, according to the survey.
59 percent are more adventurous than they would be at home.
91 percent are experimental in their choices of local cuisine.
76 percent make an effort to speak the local language.
58 percent alter their dress, to appear less American.
Making the Grade: Europe vs. U.S.
The survey reveals travelers' perceptions of amenities and services in Europe, compared to the U.S.:
Cuisine: 58 percent believe the food is better in Europe, while 35 percent consider it to be equally good. Winner: Europe
Public transportation: 90 percent maintain that Europe boasts superior public transportation. Winner: Europe
Customer service: While 30 percent believe service is worse in Europe, 51 percent say it's the same. Winner: U.S.
Attractions: 57 percent think the sites are better in Europe, while 41 percent consider them equal. Winner: Europe
Hotels: 36 percent consider accommodations to be of a lower standard in Europe, while 50 percent believe it's a draw. Winner: U.S.
TripAdvisor also recently announced the winners of its Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards, including the best of Europe, based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers on TripAdvisor.com. The winners were determined by a combination of travelers' destination comments, favorite places, and overall destination popularity on TripAdvisor.
Top 10 Destinations in Europe for 2010: TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards
Other European Winners in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards:
Best Destination in Europe for Food & Wine — Florence, Italy
Best Destination in Europe for Beach & Sun — Oludeniz, Turkey
Best Destination in Europe for Culture & Sightseeing — Florence, Italy
Best Destination in Europe for Family — Marne-la-Vallee, France
Best Destination in Europe for Nightlife — London, United Kingdom
Best Destination in Europe for Outdoor & Adventure — Interlaken, Switzerland
Best Destination in Europe for Relaxation & Spa — Bath, United Kingdom
Best Destination in Europe for Romance — Oia, Greece
Best Destination in Europe, chosen by Europeans — Berlin, Germany
"Despite the volcanic ash cloud continuing to present travel challenges in Europe, the popularity of trans-Atlantic trips shows no signs of waning," said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "Europe's unique attractions, world-class cuisine and rich history ensure that it remains an unparalleled destination for many American travelers."
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