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Despite flight fiascoes, widespread strikes, and high temperatures, Western Europe remains warm for Americans this summer.
According research conducted by the Mastercard Electronics Institutethe three countries most Americans will visit this summer are all in Europe.
Those countries are Italy, Germany and France.
Meanwhile, European travelers will head towards the UK, Spain, Italy and the US.
Travelers from Latin America and the Caribbean are likely to visit the US, Spain and Germany this summer.
And if you’re traveling from Eastern Europe or the Middle East, according to Mastercard research, your preferred vacation destinations will be the UK, France, US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
So why are Italy, Germany and France so popular with American travelers this summer?
A 2022 travel spending survey found that American visitors spent the most in Italy. The total amount of money spent by Americans in Italy exceeded 7 billion euros.
Americans choose Italy because they feel it is an interesting, welcoming, and safe destination.
As a result, Italy is expecting its biggest summer on record this year.
To monetize this, the Italian government is raising ticket prices for many of the country’s most popular attractions. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, for example, has raised the price of its tickets from 20 to 25 euros per person.
And this week, visiting the Pantheon in Rome, which is one of the best-preserved monuments of the ancient world, is subject to a first-time admission fee. Visitors will now pay 5 euros per person to enter the site.
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This is not a deterrent to American travelers, and overcrowding and overtourism remain a real problem in Italy this summer.
Several Italian hot spots have imposed a limit on the number of tourists to prevent overcrowding, as well as other measures, such as Portofino’s infamous selfie ban.
Despite this, Italy remains an attractive and culturally rich destination, as well as something of a homecoming for the 17.8 million Americans of Italian descent, and it’s easy to see why the country is so popular.
Germany isn’t an obvious summer vacation destination, but apparently, a large number of Americans disagree.
The German National Tourist Office has launched a long-running campaign to encourage travelers from the United States to visit the country this year, promoting its cultural attractions and commitment to sustainable travel.
With approximately 40 million Americans claiming German ancestry, the most popular reason to visit Germany for leisure travel is heritage travel, according to the German Tourist Board.
But even if you don’t have German heritage, there are plenty of good reasons to visit Germany this summer.
The summer months between May and September are the peak tourist season in Germany.
Despite this, Germany offers visitors plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten path and does not fall victim to the same level of overtourism as countries like Italy and France.
And with monthly public transport passes available for just €49, getting around Germany affordably and sustainably has never been easier.
There are a lot of stories being published about whether France is safe for American tourists right now. The country has spent a week in the midst of widespread unrest, although the unrest appears to be subsiding.
On top of this, France’s Tourism Minister Olivia Gregoire has called on tourists to stay away from the country’s most popular tourist attractions in a bid to combat overcrowding and overtourism.
But this clearly doesn’t make American visitors reconsider travel.
And while it’s true that Paris can be uncomfortably busy during the summer months, there’s a lot more to France than Paris.
Ask most American tourists why they choose to visit France, and chances are they’ll mention at least one of the following: iconic landmarks, world-class art and architecture, and sensational food.
You can find these attractions all over the country.
Many Americans are drawn to the iconic Riviera in the south of France this summer. The beautiful shorelines here have long attracted well-heeled Russian tourists, but sanctions mean they’ll be conspicuously absent this year, and the crowds won’t be as sizable.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com