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What are the top 5 trending global destinations for summer 2024?

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When you think fun in the summer sun, surely you think of … Germany? According to the  Mastercard Economics Institute’s annual report on travel trends, released today, the nation best known for Bavarian castles and beer fests snagged two spots on the list of the top 10 trending travel destinations globally for this upcoming summer.

The report, which also revealed all-time highs in passenger traffic and longer vacation stays, ranked the ten cities that gained the most share of flight bookings for June through August 2024. Beyond Germany’s strong showing, beach vacations and tropical destinations populated the list, with ninth-ranked Frankfurt joined by Oranjestad, Aruba (10), Corfu, Greece (8), Bangkok, Thailand (7), and Bali, Indonesia (6).

As for the top five, some of the demand is driven by sporting events, but the desire for good value also remains strong. Here’s a countdown of the top trending destinations based on aggregated and anonymized Mastercard flight-booking data provided by third-party partners.

05
Cancun, Mexico

The perennially popular Caribbean resort landed in the top five based mostly on the strength of its appeal to American travelers, clocking nearly a 2-percentage-point gain in flight bookings. Four other Caribbean destinations — Aruba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana and Santiago — claimed spots in the top 10 for American tourists.

04
Nice, France

Paris may be hosting a certain storied global sports competition this summer, but its effects will be felt as far south as the Côte d’Azur. Nice, host of several football matches, is also a destination of choice for Parisians fleeing hordes of sports fans. One survey found that hotel bookings for Parisians traveling to other French regions is up 49% for July.

03
Tirana, Albania

If Croatia was for years the “dupe,” or duplicate, destination for Italy — the same Mediterranean sun, picturesque ruins, bustling nightlife — Albania is the dupe of increasingly pricey Croatia. The capital, Tirana, is about an hour from budget-friendly resorts on the Adriatic coast and two hours south of the hiker-friendly Albanian Alps. It’s particularly popular with travelers from northern Europe.  

02
Tokyo, Japan

Japan kept its borders closed to tourists for nearly two and half years during the pandemic and only lifted all of its COVID-19 border measures a year ago. Tourism has surged since then, with 3 million visitors in March, the highest since record-keeping began, in 1964. A historically weak yen doesn’t hurt either. In fact, Japan was the top destination when the MEI looked at travel over the past 12 months.

01
Munich, Germany

Not to downplay the year-round appeal of beer and bratwurst, but the Bavarian hub’s anticipated boom in tourism could be attributed to its hosting of the opening match of the European Football Championships in June. Indeed, the growth is mostly coming from within Europe.

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