Summer travel destinations: bagpiper on banks of Thames in London
The U.K. is the most popular summer travel destination, according to Virtuoso agency bookingss

This summer luxury travelers are winging their way to classic European destinations. But they’re also choosing to visit specific countries on virtually every continent.

Two new Virtuoso lists show where upscale vacationers are heading during this year’s busy summer travel season. The information comes from booking data from Virtuoso’s U.S. and Canadian member travel agencies.

Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations

The most-booked summer travel destinations are:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Italy
  3. France
  4. Canada
  5. Spain
  6. Germany
  7. Netherlands
  8. South Africa
  9. Ireland
  10. Greece
summer travel destinations: greece town and water view
Greece is the fastest-growing destination in Europe this summer, bucking the trend of flat sales to the continent

Europe continues to rule the list with eight of the top 10 slots. The U.K. held onto last year’s number-one spot. Other usual favorites such as Italy and France also ranked highly.

Bookings for Spain are up four per cent and Germany is seeing a seven per cent increase. That’s probably because of their relative value. The average daily rate for Virtuoso’s partner hotels in Spain is almost 35 per cent lower than the European average of $761 per night. And Germany’s hotel average daily rates are about half the European average at $419 per night.

Overall, though, Europe sales are slightly down. That’s despite the U.S. dollar’s strength against the euro.

One European destination stands out for its big sales jump, however. Bookings to Greece are up 41% from last year. It’s the fastest-growing destination on the continent.

Canada is also hot, with 20% growth from last year at this time. The most popular destination: Vancouver, with almost half of the air bookings.

Hot 10 Summer Travel Destinations

The Hot 10 list features summer travel destinations that have seen the largest percentage of growth over the past year:

summer travel destinations: australia great barrier reef diving
Australia is the fastest-growing luxury destination worldwide – popular in both summer and winter
  1. Australia
  2. China
  3. Ecuador
  4. Iceland
  5. Greece
  6. Japan
  7. Turkey
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Canada
  10. Croatia 

Australia is seeing impressive growth. It’s up 137%, showing that in addition to its popular summer season, luxury travelers like its winter offerings.

Travelers are also flocking to China. It’s up 101%, with Hong Kong accounting for almost half of its air traffic.

Ecuador is both the most popular and fastest growing destination in South America. Travel is up a significant 84%.

summer travel destinations: vancouver skyline at night
Canada is one of the most visited countries as well as one of the fastest-growing destinations

Iceland and Greece continue to be desired summer travel destinations. A majority of their bookings happen from June through August.

Finding Your Perfect Summer Travel Destination

Where are you heading for your summer vacation? And do you have a Virtuoso travel advisor who can do everything from suggesting ideas to securing you privileges at more than 1,000 partners around the world?

If not, you can find an advisor who will be a great match for you at


  1. Thanks for sharing some of these travel destinations, Betsy! I’m planning a trip next year, and I’m wanting to go to Croatia. I’ve heard that it’s very beautiful! Is there anything particular that you like there?

    Lily de Grey |

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