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Getaways: Europe a Hot Ticket for U.S. Travelers in 2010

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RISMEDIA, May 21, 2010—TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most popular and largest travel communities announced the results of its annual European travel survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents. Trans-Atlantic trips look to be more popular in 2010, with 60% planning to visit Europe in the coming 12 months, up from 50% who did so last year. The majority of travelers appear undeterred by the recent volcanic ash cloud, with just 6% reconsidering their European trips as a result. Thirty-three percent say more favorable exchange rates have increased their interest in traveling to Europe this year.

Travel Spike to Europe this Fall
-Fall is the peak season for European travel, with 54% planning a leisure trip in September or October.
-38% of those planning trips to Europe will travel in May or June.
-TripAdvisor Flight data shows that the most searched for destinations in Europe are London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Madrid.
-The most up-and-coming travel destinations in Europe are Istanbul, Zurich, Seville, Athens and Copenhagen, based on increases in search activity on TripAdvisor.

Americans Bolder Overseas
Travelers embrace the sights and sounds of Europe with open arms, according to the survey.
-59% are more adventurous than they would be at home.
-91% are experimental in their choices of local cuisine.
-76% make an effort to speak the local language.
-58% alter their dress, to appear less American.

Making the Grade: Europe vs. U.S.
The survey reveals travelers’ perceptions of amenities and services in Europe, compared to the U.S.:
-Cuisine: 58% believe the food is better in Europe, while 35% consider it to be equally good. Winner: Europe
-Public transportation: 90% maintain that Europe boasts superior public transportation. Winner: Europe
-Customer service: While 30% believe service is worse in Europe, 51% say it’s the same. Winner: U.S.
-Attractions: 57% think the sites are better in Europe, while 41% consider them equal. Winner: Europe
-Hotels: 36% consider accommodations to be of a lower standard in Europe, while 50% believe it’s a draw. Winner: U.S.

TripAdvisor also recently announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards, including the best of Europe, based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers on TripAdvisor.com. The winners were determined by a combination of travelers’ destination comments, favorite places, and overall destination popularity on TripAdvisor.

Top 10 Destinations in Europe for 2010: TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards
1. Monte-Carlo, Monaco
2. Heidelberg, Germany
3. Salzburg, Austria
4. Florence, Italy
5. Lucerne, Switzerland
6. Venice, Italy
7. Siena, Italy
8. Rome, Italy
9. Hamburg, Germany
10. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Other European Winners in TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards:
-Best Destination in Europe for food and wine – Florence, Italy
-Best Destination in Europe for beach and sun – Oludeniz, Turkey
-Best Destination in Europe for culture and sightseeing – Florence, Italy
-Best Destination in Europe for family – Marne-la-Vallee, France
-Best Destination in Europe for nightlife – London, United Kingdom
-Best Destination in Europe for outdoor and adventure – Interlaken, Switzerland
-Best Destination in Europe for relaxation and spa – Bath, United Kingdom
-Best Destination in Europe for romance – Oia, Greece
-Best Destination in Europe, chosen by Europeans – Berlin, Germany

“Despite the volcanic ash cloud continuing to present travel challenges in Europe, the popularity of trans-Atlantic trips shows no signs of waning,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Europe’s unique attractions, world-class cuisine and rich history ensure that it remains an unparalleled destination for many American travelers.”

For more information, visit www.tripadvisor.com.

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