These Are Europe's Top Destinations For 2017


July 11, 2017 | BY AFP

Start planning a trip to these up-and-coming locations


Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland (Schroptschop/

In the latest edition of the European Travel Commission's 2017 travel and trends report, Iceland reported a 56 percent spike in visits in the first four months of the year compared to the same period of 2016. 

Iceland on top

The Nordic nation has been the top-performing European growth destination since 2012, with movies and shows like "Game of Thrones," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Interstellar" shining the spotlight on the country and inspiring wanderlust in intrepid travelers. 

See also: Why Iceland Is One Of Europe's Hottest Destinations

Clever and aggressive tourism marketing campaigns have also helped sell the country on its otherworldly landscape, unique, natural surroundings and friendly Icelanders in recent years.


Northern Lights over Kirkjufell Mountain in Iceland (Photo: Nicholas Roemmelt)

Over the last five years, growth per annum has averaged 25 percent to the country, with 2016 recording an whopping 40 percent growth.  

But analysts expect the streak to slow in the coming years, owing to accommodation capacity and other infrastructure constraints which are having a hard time keeping up with the tourism boom. 

In second place is...

Meanwhile, following a sizable gap, Montenegro is the second fastest-growing destination in Europe of 2017 so far, posting 25 percent growth compared to last year. Rounding out the top five spots are Malta, Finland and Cyprus. 


Photo: Courtesy of Porto Montenegro

See also: Is Montenegro The New Monte Carlo

The report also notes that Finland has become especially interesting for Chinese travelers, with a sizable number of arrivals from China this year. A similar trend is also seen for Estonia. 

Improved air connectivity is credited with helping Portugal, Serbia and Croatia boost their arrivals numbers, while Croatia and Bulgaria also saw a notable increase in visitors from the UK.

If you're planning for your travels for the rest of 2017 and 2018, here are a few more places to add to your list.

The top 10 fastest-growing destinations in Europe of 2017 so far: 

1. Iceland 
2. Montenegro 
3. Malta 
4. Finland 
5. Cyprus 
6. Bulgaria 
7. Portugal 
8. Serbia  
9. Croatia  
10. Spain 

What's on your bucket list? Tell us by commenting on our Instagram and Facebook @HongKongTatler.

See also: How I Travel ft. James McBride of Nihiwatu