Hottest Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions

These are the fastest grow­ing travel des­ti­na­tions in Europe for 2017, so far.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel - The North­ern Lights over Kirkjufell Moun­tain in Ice­land. — Photos: AFP

ICE­LAND is Europe’s fastest grow­ing travel des­ti­na­tion of 2017 so far, mark­ing a six-year streak that shows no sign of slow­ing. In the lat­est edi­tion of the Euro­pean Travel Com­mis­sion’s 2017 travel and trends re­port, Ice­land re­ported a 56% spike in vis­its in the first four months of the year com­pared to the same pe­riod of 2016.

The Nordic na­tion has been the top-per­form­ing Euro­pean growth des­ti­na­tion since 2012, with movies and shows like Game Of Thrones, The Se­cret Life Of Wal­ter Mitty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and In­ter­stel­lar shin­ing the spot­light on the coun­try and in­spir­ing wan­der­lust in in­trepid trav­ellers.

Clever and ag­gres­sive tourism mar­ket­ing cam­paigns have also helped sell the coun­try on its oth­er­worldly land­scape, unique, nat­u­ral sur­round­ings and friendly Ice­landers in re­cent years.

Over the last five years, growth per an­num has av­er­aged 25% to the coun­try, with 2016 record­ing an whop­ping 40% growth.

But an­a­lysts ex­pect the streak to slow in the coming years, ow­ing to ac­com­mo­da­tion ca­pac­ity and other in­fra­struc­ture con­straints which are hav­ing a hard time keep­ing up with the tourism boom.

Mean­while, fol­low­ing a siz­able gap, Mon­tene­gro is the sec­ond fastest-grow­ing des­ti­na­tion in Europe of 2017 so far, post­ing 25% growth com­pared to last year.

Round­ing out the top five spots are Malta, Fin­land and Cyprus.

The re­port also notes that Fin­land has be­come es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing for Chi­nese trav­ellers, with a siz­able num­ber of ar­rivals from China this year. A sim­i­lar trend is also seen for Es­to­nia.

Im­proved air con­nec­tiv­ity is cred­ited with help­ing Por­tu­gal, Ser­bia and Croa­tia boost their ar­rivals num­bers, while Croa­tia and Bul­garia also saw a no­table in­crease in vis­i­tors from Bri­tain.

Here are the top 10 fastest grow­ing des­ti­na­tions in Europe of 2017 so far:

1. Ice­land

2. Mon­tene­gro

3. Malta

4. Fin­land

5. Cyprus

6. Bul­garia

7. Por­tu­gal

8. Ser­bia

9. Croa­tia 10.Spain

– AFP Re­laxnews

The famed Blue La­goon of Ice­land is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion.

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