The hottest travel destinations in Europe in 2017

Trends and favorite tourist destinations gradually change with time, but this year, the change has been fast. European Travel Commission published a report in July 2017 that summarized the trends in numbers.

One of the most interesting pieces of information in the report is the hot destinations of Europe in 2017. The hottest destinations are Iceland, Montenegro and Malta.
Iceland by Moyan Brenn
Top 10 fastest growing travel destinations in Europe during the first half of 2017:

    1. Iceland
    2. Montenegro
    3. Malta
    4. Finland
    5. Cyprus
    6. Bulgaria
    7. Portugal
    8. Serbia
    9. Croatia
    10. Spain

The growth of tourism has been so quick in the small Iceland island in North Europe that residents are getting fed up. As the nation’s economy doesn’t depend on tourism, we are likely to see some restrictions.

Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia have been on the radar for a few years already, but now the mass tourism is beginning to find the destinations in those countries along the Mediterranean Adriatic Coast.

Finland’s 100th year Independence celebrations may attract tourists, but the biggest boost have come from Chinese tourists who stopover in Helsinki on their way to Europe.

Although Spain already is a big tourist destination globally, its strong growth may indicate travelers are avoiding some other destinations, and choosing Spain as a safe alternative. Turkey is a destination whose tourist arrivals has fallen sharply during 2017.

For comparison, let’s look at the top 10 most visited countries in Europe (statistic from 2014):

    1. France 83.7 million international arrivals
    2. Spain 65.0 million
    3. Italy 48.6 million
    4. Turkey 39.8 million
    5. Germany 33.0 million
    6. United Kingdom 32.6 million
    7. Russia 29.8 million
    8. Austria 25.2 million
    9. Greece 22.0 million
    10. Poland 16.0 million

The statistics is probably based on number of air travelers only. It is possible to tally the number of arriving people on the spot, or ask airlines to produce a report from the booking system.

There is probably no way to tally the numbers of road travelers – people who cross the borders of EU countries without having to slow down. Those traveler numbers could be much bigger than these reported statistics.

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