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Travel to Europe Up 20 Percent This Holiday Season

Travel Agent News fur Europe Travel Trends from Allianz Travel Insurance



Allianz Global Assistance Compared Number of American Travelers Planning European Vacations During Winter 2018 to Winter 2017



Richmond, VA, November 14, 2018 — Americans continue to view Europe as a preferred holiday travel destination, according to travel destination data collected and analyzed by Allianz Global Assistance. The top 20 European destinations saw airline tickets increase in sales an average of 26 percent from last year, nearly tripling the nine percent increase from 2016 to 2017. Three of those cities experienced impressive growth of more than 50 percent: Barcelona (50.2 percent), Zurich (54.8 percent) and Lisbon (103.2 percent). This upward trend demonstrates the growing interest in Europe as a holiday travel destination.


Allianz Global Assistance reviewed Americans’ travel plans* during the peak holiday travel season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, and found a 22.5 percent increase in total ticket purchases, compared to the same time period last year.


While the top five European holiday travel destinations for Americans – London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Madrid – remain unchanged from 2017, each saw exponential growth in travel plans. Of the top 20 European destinations, Lisbon, Portugal saw the largest increase in travel, with an astounding 103.2 percent jump over last year. Lisbon also experienced the biggest shift in the overall ranking, rising from the 21st to the 12th most popular destination, bringing it within striking distance of the top 10.


London maintained its status as the most popular European destination among American travelers, and Heathrow saw a 32 percent increase in tickets compared to 2017.


Paris is still the second most sought after European destination for American holiday travelers. Consistent with the general trend, the number of Americans making travel plans for Paris increased 42.7 percent over last year, nearly triple the rate of last year’s annual increase of 16.3 percent.


Rome, Amsterdam and Madrid similarly remained the third, fourth, and fifth most popular travel destinations, respectively, with Amsterdam seeing the largest increase in travel (22.5 percent increase from 2017). Last year, Rome had the largest increase among the three cities (56.4 percent increase from 2016).


“We’re pleased to see that American interest in European travel has continued to grow over the past year,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “With flights cheaper and more accessible than ever, we expect Europe to continue to gain in popularity as a holiday travel destination among Americans for some time to come. Severe weather, trip cancellations, trip interruptions or trip delays are all possibilities when traveling to a foreign country, but with the right insurance policy, you may be reimbursed for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. Knowing your trip is protected can help ease your mind during a busy holiday season.”


Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: or like us on Facebook at



Destination (Airport Code) % Change in U.S. Visitors
2017 Rank 2018 Rank Rank Change
London, United Kingdom (LHR) 31.6 percent 1 1 0
France, Paris (CDG) 42.7 percent 2 2 0
Rome, Italy (FCO) 11.9 percent 3 3 0
Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) 22.5 percent 4 4 0
Madrid, Spain (MAD) 14 percent 5 5 0
Barcelona, Spain (BCN) 50.2 percent 7 6 1
Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) 9.3 percent 6 7 -1
Munich, Germany (MUC) 19.6 percent 8 8 0
Dublin, Ireland (DUB) 15.6 percent 9 9 0
Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) 54.8 percent 11 10 1
Keflavik, Iceland (KEF) 36.6 percent 10 11 -1
Lisbon, Portugal (LIS) 103.2 percent 21 12 9
Milan, Italy (MXP) 37.4 percent 13 13 0
Brussels, Belgium (BRU) 4.4 percent 14 14 0
London, United Kingdom (LGW) -5.9 percent 12 15 -3
Vienna, Austria (VIE) 15.3 percent 16 16 0
Manchester, United Kingdom (MAN) 7.2 percent 15 17 -2
Venice, Italy (VCE) 34.2 percent 21 18 3
Prague, Czech Republic (PRG) 16.9 percent 18 19 -1
Athens, Greece (ATH) -0.5 percent 17 20 -3

*Methodology: The data of U.S. travelers’ booking intent to purchase flights to European airports was gathered by analyzing the number of customers that went through the online booking process of airfare and package paths for partners offering Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance from June 1 to October 15, 2018 to generate itineraries for travel to Europe from the US during peak Holiday travel season (11/21/2018 – 1/06/2019), compared to the same purchasing in 2017 to peak 2018 Holiday travel dates (11/22/2017 – 1/08/2018).



Allianz Global Assistance USA

Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 35 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.