Paris is back. Following a drop in bookings from U.S. travelers who chose not to spend their holiday in Paris last year, the City of Lights now projects a 16.3 percent increase in U.S. visitors for the 2017 season, according to a survey conducted by Allianz Global Assistance. Contrasting this increase is a significant decrease to in booking plans targeting popular destinations in the United Kingdom, including London and Manchester.
Allianz reviewed more than 760,000 travel records made be Americans during the peak holiday travel season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s, and found that while Paris saw a significant decrease in American travelers during last year’s holiday season (down 12.8 percent from 2015), the city has risen for 2017 and remains as the second most popular European destination.
But it is London that roars. The seat of the empire continues to be the most prevalent European destination for U.S. travelers despite London Heathrow Airport expecting a 10.9 percent decrease in U.S. holiday travel from 2016. Manchester also saw a significant decrease in holiday travel this year, dropping 26.6 percent since 2016.
Rome, Frankfurt and Amsterdam rounded out the top five European travel destinations for 2017, with Rome showing the biggest increase in travel (56.4 percent increase from 2016). Rome’s shift in ranking from eighth to third is the second most drastic shift in the review’s findings, following Reykjavik, Iceland, which jumped in ranking from 24th to 11th, a 143.9 percent increase in number of travel plans.
In addition to Rome and Reykjavik, the cities that benefited most from the redistribution of American travelers interested in visiting Europe include: Geneva, increased by 36.8 percent; and Athens, increased by 32.4 percent.
Overall, Europe recorded an impressive 9.2 percent increase of American travelers.
“While world events including terrorism continue to impact travelers’ interest in traveling to the United Kingdom, London remains the top holiday travel destination, and many other cities like Rome, Reykjavik and Athens are enjoying nice gains in popularity this year,” says Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA.
|Destination (Airport Code)||% Change In U.S. Visitors
|2016 Rank||2017 Rank||Rank Change
|London, United Kingdom (LHR)||-10.9 percent||1||1||0|
|Paris, France (CDG)||16.3 percent||2||2||0|
|Rome, Italy (FCO)||56.4 percent||8||3||5|
|Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)||8.9 percent||3||4||-1|
|Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)||19.6 percent||4||5||-1|
|Madrid, Spain (MAD)||16.9 percent||5||6||-1|
|Barcelona, Spain (BCN)||6.0 percent||9||7||2|
|Munich, Germany (MUC)||-0.5 percent||7||8||-1|
|Dublin, Ireland (DUB)||-3.9 percent||6||9||-3|
|Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)||13.9 percent||10||10||0|
|Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)||143.9 percent||24||11||13|
|Brussels, Belgium (BRU)||26.6 percent||13||12||1|
|Milan, Italy (MXP)||15.6 percent||14||13||1|
|Lisbon, Portugal (LIS)||37.4 percent||17||14||3|
|Vienna, Austria (VIE)||-5.9 percent||12||15||-3|
|Berlin, Germany (TXL)||12.1 percent||15||16||-1|
|London, United Kingdom (LGW)||77.3 percent||25||17||8|
|Athens, Greece (ATH)||32.4 percent||20||18||2|
|Geneva, Switzerland (GVA)||36.8 percent||21||19||2|
|Manchester, United Kingdom (MAN)||-26.6 percent||11||20||-9|