From Bordeaux vineyards to the Norfolk Broads, AI predicts Europe’s most popular regions for 2024.
Tourists in Europe are increasingly seeking experiential activities over culture and beaches, according to data from travel trend analyst Mabrian.
As interest in nature-based and active travel spikes, which European countries are best positioned to lure visitors?
Mabrian used AI and natural language processing to delve into spontaneous conversations about travel on social media between January and October 2023.
Over 380 million tourism mentions were analysed to determine people’s motivations for travel. This information, along with data on air connectivity, was used to pinpoint destinations that best fit current and rising trends.
How were destinations selected?
The study identified a global trend toward more experiential and less conventional travel motivations in recent years.
Although the popularity of experiential travel – including nature, active and gastronomic tourism – has risen by 8 per cent since 2019, cultural tourism remains the main motivation for visitors to Europe.
To find out which destinations are likely to trend in 2024, Mabrian therefore looked at which destinations have the highest demand for experiential activities while also retaining an interest share in cultural travel. Finally, it analysed the international accessibility of destinations in terms of air travel.
Which European country will be most popular in 2024?
Italy came out on top, with four potential trending destinations. Piedmont earned the number one spot for its alluring mix of culture, nature and gastronomy.
From the annual white truffle fair in Alba to the powdery slopes of Via Lattea, and the vineyards of Langhe to the shimmering waters of Lake Maggiore, the northwest region is packed with activities for experiential travellers. Turin International Airport offers easy access from around the world.
In fifth, seventh and ninth places, Campania, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna earned Italy the highest share of potential trending destinations in Europe.
Where else in Europe is predicted to be popular this year?
Wine, food and nature landed Nouvelle-Aquitaine in France in second place. Famed for its oysters and Bordeaux vineyards, the southwest region is also a gateway to hiking and skiing in the Pyrenees.
The East of England snapped up third place for its balance of culture and nature. From the prestigious museums of Cambridge to the sleepy rivers of the Norfolk Broads, the region’s attractions are easily accessed from the capital London and via international airports.
In fourth place, it’s back to France with Occitanie, where fruit orchards, Le Puy-en-Velay hiking trails and the UNESCO classified Canal du Midi can be explored by the regional liO train. The region is also home to major cities including Toulouse and Montpellier.
Home to Cologne and an array of fairy tale castles, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany took sixth place. It was followed by Germany’s Hamburg in ninth place, and Lisbon in Portugal in 10th place.