What are the most popular European destinations for American travelers?

A report from the European Travel Commission suggests that some of the traditionally popular destinations are seeing a yearly decline in U.S. tourists.

Europe's tourism industry is rapidly changing.

The market for European travel took a hit when the recession made many of us tighten our belts and shelve the holiday plans, but as economic recovery takes place in some countries, Europe has seen a change in traveler clientele. More visitors hail from Asia, and as smaller European countries begin to tap into the lucrative tourism industry, it seems our holiday habits have responded.

According to the latest quarterly report (.pdf) from the European Travel Commission (ETC), traditional holiday destinations for Americans -- including Spain, Germany and the U.K. -- have seen a drop in popularity, whereas lesser-known areas, including Slovakia and Iceland, are enjoying a surge in visitors, albeit on a smaller scale.

Among the more established destinations, only Italy reported an increase in arrivals from the United States.

The ETC forecasts that through 2017, arrivals to Northern Europe are expected to increase 31.1 percent, with U.S. holidaymakers taking 10.4 percent of the market. Visits to Western Europe are predicted to rise by 17.5 percent -- with the U.S. share falling to 15.3 percent -- and arrivals to Southern Europe are expected to rise 15.6 percent, but the U.S. marketshare will fall to 11.3 percent. Finally, visits to central and Eastern Europe are expected to rise 37 percent, with the region's share of the U.S. market predicted to rise by 8.4 percent.

However, the ETC says that growth in tourism this year represents something of a slowdown from strong growth in 2012 for many countries.

Via: Skift

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com