PHOTO: New flights to Manchester, England, with Virgin Atlantic were big news at Visit Europe Media Exhange. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
Europe may have faced a host of challenges this year, but as media gathered in San Francisco for the Visit Europe Media Exchange, tourism officials were there to share the new and exciting opportunities that await a receptive audience of visitors.
The continent is abuzz with activity. Despite turmoil in some regions, there is no slowing of tourism. American’s desires to visit the old country are as strong as ever and destinations are meeting their needs with more flights, adventures, cuisine and hotels.
One of the largest drivers of traffic to Europe at the moment is Brexit. Virgin Atlantic, VisitBritain and Visit Manchester were all touting Great Britain’s new affordability for Americans.
New routes from Virgin Atlantic from U.S. hubs such as San Francisco direct to Manchester are interned to open up the North for Americans and make idyllic locales such as the Lake District more attainable as well as affordable. It will also connect burgeoning tech hubs such as Manchester with Silicon Valley.
Swiss Tourism was promoting its Grand Tour and a new online platform that allows visitors to book remote Alpine huts online and Swiss Travel Pass now includes the Mount Pilatus train journey, one of the world’s steepest and most thrilling.
CroisiEurope offers barging itineraries perfect for multigenerational groups, making it easy to travel together along France’s stunning waterways.
Ireland is promoting the Ancient East, which perfectly complements the Wild Atlantic Way, offering visitors an intimate look at the culture and history of Ireland along its Eastern shores.
Poland is fast becoming a culinary hub with food tours and new restaurants lining up. For the in the know traveler, Poland is known for its extensive soup culture. Off the beaten path travelers will also want to try a vodka tour in the country.
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Germany is the ideal spot for Christmas. The Dresden Christmas Market is one of the oldest and the city also hosts a number of smaller complementary markets alongside the main one.
In Munich, you don’t have to go far to get into the spirit of the holiday. There’s a Christmas market right in the airport, perfect for a stopover.
For those looking to swing by Scandinavia on a flight elsewhere in Europe or in Asia, try FinnAir’s new stopover that allows visitors to stop in the country for as short as five hours or as long as five days.