Pop Quiz: What is this summer’s top travel destination?
If you said Paris, well, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. After all, the City of Lights is the world’s most visited city, drawing 40 million tourists a year! So you would probably not be surprised to find out it is tops for 2014 as well. In fact, most summer travelers seem to be heading back to the same old places again this year, according to CCRA Travel Solutions, which provides hotel booking services that link thousands of travel agencies with more than 180,000 hotels around the world.
With such a wide reach, the trends that CCRA sees are good predictors of where people will be travelling. To get a preview of summer travel and find out where the hot destinations are, they tracked reservations from the first day of spring (March 20) through the last day of summer (September 22). It doesn’t take a bunch of research to surmise that Paris, Rome or Orlando are hot destinations, but you might be surprised by some of the other Top Ten locales.
Similar to Paris, perennial favorite Las Vegas is back in the top spot in the United States again, followed by New York City and Orlando, Florida; three cities that draw millions of visitors year round. Two of our favorite places, New Orleans and San Diego wrap up the Top Five. It doesn’t seem surprising that Chicago is a hot destination, but it’s a little surprising that the Windy City is new to the list, at #6. Miami is at #7, Atlanta at #8, then back to Florida with Ft. Lauderdale and list newbie Kissimmee in the 9 and 10 spots.
Working hard to wrestle the international title from Paris, The Eternal City, Rome is at #2; one of three Italian entries making Italy the top tourism country. Beautiful Vancouver BC is in third, and London fourth. Barcelona continues to draw visitors, and ranks 5th this year. Amsterdam is 6th, followed by Venice and Florence. New to the international list is Copenhagen, with Madrid rounding out the Top Ten.
As travelers, we appreciate lists like this. If some of these cities were not on your radar, perhaps they are worth looking into. And if your dream destination is on the list, you know to book flights, attractions and hotel rooms early to avoid disappointment. On the other hand, if you are not a fan of big crowds, long lines and high prices – which all seem to congregate wherever tourists do – you might want to plan a trip to elsewhere.