NEW YORK (eTN) – Americans’ love affair with Italy continued unabated through 2007 despite the record-high Euro, according to the U.S. Tour Operators Association, whose members send 11 million people yearly on vacation.
For the fifth straight year Italy placed first as the most popular international destination for vacation packages and tours, according to an annual informal poll of USTOA member companies. More than one in four responding companies cited Italy as top destination, with England coming in a distant second. Italy also placed top as the biggest destination of 2007.
Eastern Europe is hottest up-and-coming area
Eastern Europe-including Bulgaria and the Czech Republic-placed first as the hottest up-and-coming area for tours and packages, followed closely by South America and Asia, respectively. For hottest up-and-coming country Croatia came in first, with China close behind.
Egypt offers best value
Egypt placed first by far and away as best value for the dollar, with a three-way tie between Turkey, the U.S., and China for distant second place.
California edges out the rest
Domestically, the western states were cited as top area for tours and packages, with California slightly edging out Alaska and Nevada.
Survey respondents represented 60 of the top brand names in packaged travel, or 60% of USTOA’s Corporate members.