When it comes to international travel, Americans’ go-to destinations are pretty well-established by now, with Mexico and Canada sitting comfortably at number 1 and 2 respectively, partly due to their many cultural and natural wonders and partly due to their geographical proximity.
However, what about the places Americans are crossing oceans to visit – where do those rank in comparison to one another?
The newest Outbound Survey of International Travelers released by the National Travel and Tourism Office shed some light on this very question by releasing the official ranking of the most visited overseas destinations by U.S. travelers during the first two quarters of 2023.
One interesting fact to note is that the countries you’ll see below are not only this year’s favorite among North American travelers, but they’re also being visited in never-seen-before numbers that far surpass the traffic we’ve seen before the pandemic.
Having welcomed over 867,000 U.S. tourists, Spain saw an 18% increase in this demographic compared to its pre-pandemic highs.
Between the architectural wonders of Barcelona, the historic charm of Seville, and the sun-kissed beaches of the Costa del Sol, travelers have a lot to experience in Spain, a country whose passion for life is evident in every single corner.
So, while there, try to take in some of the region’s warm, lively atmosphere, either through the buzzing festivals of La Tomatina and Running of the Bulls, the spirited flamenco performances, or the world-class culinary scene.
4. Dominican Republic
For those who doubted the Dominican Republic’s meteoric rise in popularity this past year, the fact that this stunning Caribbean country is the only non-European destination on today’s list goes to show just how much Americans have grown to love this previously overlooked gem.
With its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and warm, genuine atmosphere, the Dominican Republic has become the ultimate place to be for those seeking sun and excitement, especially this time of year.
Here you can explore the crystal-clear waters of Punta Cana, the historical allure of Santo Domingo, or the captivating rhythms of Bachata in Santiago de los Caballeros – one thing’s for sure, you’ll leave every single one of your stops with a renewed sense of excitement and appreciation for life.
Though the most visited country on Earth has lost some ground to trendier, less overcrowded hotspots, its timeless allure is still attracting American travelers by the millions, and it’s easy to see why.
Whether you want to experience some of the world’s most talked-about landmarks in Paris, indulge in the romantic ambiance of Provence, savor a gourmet meal in Lyon, or sunbathe on the beaches of Nice, France is sure to exceed your already-high expectations.
A whopping 1.5 million Americans visited the boot-shaped peninsula during the first two quarters of 2023, marking a 35% increase from 2019, the previous record-holding year.
Though impressive in their own right, these numbers don’t seem all that surprising – that’s because the country is so rich in culture, history, and breathtaking sights that you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t want to experience it all firsthand if given a chance.
Italy’s unshakable allure isn’t concentrated in a single region of the country.
Between the historic cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice, the scenic Amalfi Coast, the idyllic Tuscan countryside, and the cultural and architectural wonder that is Milan, travelers, especially those visiting for a limited amount of time, will find planning a comprehensive itinerary to be borderline-impossible.
1. United Kingdom
Be it the familiar language, fascinating history, or diverse, awe-inspiring landscape, the United Kingdom has emerged as the most popular overseas destination among American travelers.
London, the country’s biggest tourist magnet, will leave you breathless with its plethora of world-class attractions (Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye, just to name a few) and bustling streets.
After a busy day in the city, you can always wind down in one of the charming villages of the English countryside, where you’ll get to enjoy the local food, culture, and untouched views in their truest form.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com