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Exploring Europe’s Hidden Asian-Influenced Cities

TravelExploring Europe's Hidden Asian-Influenced Cities

**Exploring Europe’s Hidden Asian-Influenced Cities**

When it comes to travel abroad, popular destinations like London, Paris, and Rome always seem to top the wish list for Americans. But in 2024, many travelers are looking beyond those mainstay cities for trips, with an increased interest in major Asian hubs, off-the-beaten-path locales in Europe, and other areas. According to Airbnb, 2024 is shaping up to be the year of globetrotting. Overseas travel is gaining traction, with a 13% increase in searches for international flights despite prices being around 10% higher.

**1. Asia takes the crown again**

Asian destinations have captured the attention of American travelers, with Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea, ranking as the top two trending international hotspots for 2024. This trend is further supported by data from travel app Hopper, which shows a surge in searches for Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei City, Tokyo, and Osaka, Japan. The reopening of borders in Asian nations, coupled with a historically strong U.S. dollar relative to Asian currencies, has contributed to the increased interest in travel to this region.

Japan, in particular, has seen a significant uptick in search traffic for 2024, with Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo ranking among the top 24 worldwide destinations. The reopening of borders and favorable exchange rates have made Japan an attractive destination for American travelers, with Tokyo being the most popular city to visit in Asia. However, airfare to Asia is expected to come at a premium, with prices averaging at $1,204 for 2024, reflecting a 45% increase compared to 2019.

**2. Going off the beaten path in Europe**

The overcrowding in traditional European hubs has led to a shift towards less-frequented areas, with cities such as Stockholm, Sweden; Budapest, Hungary; Helsinki, Finland; and Prague, Czech Republic, gaining traction among travelers. Scandinavian travel is particularly recommended due to its unspoiled nature, making it an appealing alternative to the crowded tourist destinations. Additionally, Finland’s membership in the NATO military alliance in 2023 has raised awareness of the nation among Americans, contributing to increased interest in the region.

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Moreover, cities like Budapest and Prague, while always popular, have not experienced the same level of tourism as some of the more well-known European destinations. The upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris is expected to further boost travel to the City of Light and nearby cities, with demand for flights doubling compared to the previous year. Lower relative prices for lesser-known spots in Europe are also drawing travelers, especially as average flights to Europe overall are 5% more expensive in 2024 compared to 2023.

**3. The Atlantic tropics over the Caribbean**

As travelers seek new experiences, the Atlantic tropics have emerged as a favored choice over the Caribbean. Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, offers a unique blend of European and tropical influences, attracting visitors looking for a diverse travel experience. The allure of the Atlantic tropics as an alternative to the more popular Caribbean destinations is evident in the changing preferences of travelers, reflecting a growing interest in exploring lesser-known regions.

In conclusion, the shift towards exploring hidden Asian-influenced cities and off-the-beaten-path European destinations reflects a growing appetite for unique and immersive travel experiences. As travelers seek to break away from overcrowded tourist hotspots, they are increasingly drawn to destinations that offer a blend of cultural richness and natural beauty. The evolving travel trends of 2024 signify a desire for exploration and discovery, encouraging travelers to step off the beaten path and embrace new adventures.

Source: CNBC.com**Why Americans Are Turning to Atlantic Tropical Destinations**

For many Americans, the allure of warm-weather beach destinations has traditionally drawn them to popular spots like Cancun, Mexico. However, a recent trend has emerged, with more people opting for Atlantic tropical vacations over the Caribbean. According to Hopper’s Berg, this shift in preference is likely to continue into 2024. Atlantic tropical destinations such as Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, and Funchal, the capital of Portugal’s Madeira archipelago, have captured the attention of travelers seeking unique experiences.

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**Discovering Off-the-Beaten Path Places**

Sofia Markovich, a travel advisor, highlighted how people are embracing the discovery of off-the-beaten path destinations. This trend reflects a growing interest in exploring lesser-known locations that offer distinct cultural and natural attractions. The appeal of Atlantic tropical destinations lies in their ability to provide travelers with a sense of adventure and novelty as they venture beyond the traditional Caribbean hotspots.

**Málaga: A Mediterranean Port City**

While not located directly on the Atlantic, Málaga, a Mediterranean port city on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, has also garnered attention. Known for its subtropical-Mediterranean climate, boasting approximately 300 days of sunshine annually, Málaga has become a favored destination. It has been recognized as the top city for expats, further increasing its appeal. Additionally, search interest in Málaga has surged by 60% year-over-year, signaling a growing fascination with this vibrant city.

**Canada’s Ski Mountains Are Experiencing a Renaissance**

Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal in Canada have emerged as prominent destinations, ranking high on Hopper’s international trend list for 2024. The renaissance of Canadian ski destinations has contributed significantly to their popularity. These locations are now rivalling their European counterparts, drawing visitors with their breathtaking landscapes and exceptional winter tourism offerings. Moreover, the affordability of air travel to Canada, compared to trips to Europe, has further enhanced the appeal of these ski destinations.

In conclusion, the evolving travel preferences of Americans have led to a surge in interest in Atlantic tropical destinations and Canadian ski mountains. Both categories of destinations offer unique experiences, whether it’s the allure of off-the-beaten path locations or the renaissance of ski tourism. As travelers seek new adventures and experiences, these emerging trends are reshaping the travel landscape.

This article is based on information provided by www.cnbc.com.

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