According to the world tourism organization, in 2004 Europe travel destinations enjoyed the largest part of the international travel business, with 54% of the market, followed by Asia with 20% and then the Americas with 16%. Why are Europe travel destinations so popular? The reason to travel to Europe may be different for each traveler, but a few of the common reasons are:
Cultural Opportunities: For those interested in museums, arts, history, music or theater Europe travel offers nearly endless opportunity for cultural activity. From London to Paris to Rome to Amsterdam travelers can enjoy some of the most exciting cultural opportunities the world has to offer.
Landmarks: People like to visit and associate themselves with something (or someone) famous. Europe travel destinations are rich in famous landmarks. Some of the most well known landmarks of the world, from Big Ben, to the Eiffel Tower, to the Coliseum are located in Europe.
Roots: People like to visit the countries of their ancestors. Ancient Europeans were wanderers who put up stakes in destinations around the world. Their descendants are now traveling to Europe to return to their roots and see the places their forefathers once called home.
Variety: Where else can you enjoy such a diversity of culture, climate and geography over such a small distance. A traveler to the US will notice relatively small changes when traveling from L.A to New York City, a flight of approximately six hours. Language is the same, food is similar, and culture is not remarkably different. However, a two hour flight from Zurich, Switzerlandto Athens, Greece , will reward the traveler with an enormous difference that is immediately obvious. Everything from language, food to lifestyle is completely and utterly different. Distances in Europe are relatively small and cultural variety is large. This gives the traveler to Europe the opportunity of easily enjoying a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles by making a relatively low investment of time and money.
Transportation: There is no place more convenient for a traveler, than Europe. Transportation is arguably the best in the world. Europe is well known for its remarkable train system and train passes which offer travelers the opportunity for international travel at very affordable rates. With more and more discount airlines available, Europe travel is becoming less and less expensive. Once you arrive in a major city, there is usually a local metro or streetcar system to take you anywhere you want to go. The ease, comfort and economy makes Europe travel very attractive and convenient.
Health: When traveling in some regions of the world, travelers must consider if there are any local illnesses that they may be exposed to, if vaccines maybe required and if they fall ill, will they receive proper medical treatment. Most European destinations have excellent water supplies, low rates of infectious diseases and some of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Safety: Travelers are always easy prey for criminals. However in most European countries your hotel room is not only safe from burglary due to security but is also equipped with a safe. European police departments are usually efficient and violent crime is generally lower than in many other areas. But one should always remember when exploring new destination never loose sight of your money and documents.
When is the best time to travel Europe?
May, June, September, and October: These are the perfect months to enjoy southern Europe. Greece, Turkey, Spain and Italy are the best destinations in these periods. The climate at this time is usually ideal and the crowds are relatively thin. International flights are usually less expensive than the peak fares of summer. In the peak travel months of July and August, these destinations may be too hot, too crowded and too expensive for many travelers.
July, August: This is the best time to visit Northern, Central and Eastern Europe and go to such countries as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic. International flights will be expensive. However, this period offers the best climate conditions and many of the locals will be on holiday in southern Europe during this period.
November to March: Europe is cold during these months. While you may find travel bargains at this time, you may spend alot of your travel time indoors. The only exception to this is the Canary Islands. Although part of Spain, the Canary Islands are located off the coast of Africa, and enjoy moderate climate year-round.