A robust dollar and more flights prompted all the more US travelers to visit European destinations this summer with the upward trend continuing into the the fall and winter, according to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) Trans-Atlantic Report.
ETC data for June reveals that a record 1.74 million American holidaymakers crossed the Atlantic, up by 8 percent against the same month in 2014, with large US tour operators estimating further growth in the autumn and winter, but also in 2016.
“It looks like this will be a record peak season for US travel to Europe,” said Neil Martin, of Donald N Martin & Company, which represents the ETC in the US.
“The momentum should continue into this fall, in part because air fares are going down,” with prices on some routes like New York-London down nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2014.
Martin explained that though air fares increased earlier this year, accommodation, meals, and other costs proved to be more attractive, and “when it comes to hotels you have a lot more choices now”, he added.
In the meantime, agents specializing in European itineraries also saw their business flourish this year.
The ETC report also found that some countries, including Greece, which had troubles (such as credit controls and the refugee influx) did experience a decline in bookings, but tourism stalwarts like Great Britain are doing well this year, with North American visits there up by 15 percent in June.