Where Are Travelers Going This Summer? Maldives, Bilbao, Ho Chi Minh Top The List
American Express Travel is reporting a 19% increase in summer travel, with travel to international destinations trending up by 26% in comparison to last summer. While London, Paris and Rome will always remain as tried and true vacation spots – unexpected places such as Bilbao, Maldives, Zabreb, Mumbai and Ixtapa are creeping up on travelers’ lists, showing a significant upsurge in bookings, according to American Express Travel data.
Take a look at the full list of hot summer destinations:
· Maldives 117% -Boasting dreamy private isles in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives have been a hot spot for celebrities and affluent clientele alike over the last year, known for their secluded beaches, blue, lagoons and cascading coral reefs.
· Bilbao 114% -A port city in northern Spain, that was once surrounded by industrial architecture and wastelands was revitalized in 1997 with introduction of the famed Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; which sparked revitalization and now houses prominent modern and contemporary art works, ultimately transforming Bilbao to an soulful, European art and culture center.
· Ho Chi Minh 97% – A Vietnamese city driving the country forward with pulsating energy and discovery – here travelers can wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before negotiating chic designer malls beneath sleek 21st-century skyscrapers.
· Costa Smeralda 90% -Where rugged landscapes meet pampered living, this coastal Sardinian paradise vaunts luxury villas and yachts and attracts celebrities and elite from around the world, especially over the summer months.
· Zabreb 89% – Croatia’s northwestern capital distinguished by it’s 18th and 19th century Austro-Hungarian architecture, lined with charming cafes, colorful shops and museums.
· Marrakech 77% – Pastel-washed derbs, souqs full of Moroccan spices and artisan crafts, this Morroccan city will transport travelers to a different era as they take in history, art, culture and Isalmic architecture.
· Ixtapa 69% – Nothing more than a coconut plantation until the late 1970s, this pacific coast beach resort is full of fishing boats that decorate the crystal waters and is home to the granite rocks of Los Morros de Potosí, a popular dive site.
· Mumbai 69% Formerly Bombay, is home to India’s most prolific film industry, a fashion epicenter and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone; it’s a city full of energy and contains some of the grandest architecture on the planet, including hidden bazaars, temples and hipster enclaves.
· Glasgow 69% A port city along the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands celebrated for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, serving as a cultural hub famed for the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as acclaimed museums and a thriving music scene.
· Israel 56% Located on the Mediterranean Sea, this sacred destination is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and is recognized for its complex shrines, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and beaches of Tel Aviv.