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Americans flood tourist hot spots across Europe after pandemic

Americans head back to Europe after pandemic
Americans flood tourist hot spots across Europe after pandemic 03:51

As the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic fades, European tourism is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Once deserted streets have given way to bustling landmarks, fueled by a surge in American visitors. 

Compared to last year, American tourists to Europe have increased by 55%, setting new records. 

Airlines are helping by creating some new options to help make European trips more affordable for passengers.

Cities including Paris, London and Rome are now crowded with visitors — in stark contrast to the empty cobblestone streets seen during the recent years of lockdowns. 

To navigate through the crowds, tourists are adopting innovative approaches like embarking on Vespa sidecar tours. Luca Di Trappano, the founder of Vespa Sidecar Tour, said this year's surge in crowds exceeds anything he has seen before.

The increase in tourism is bringing relief to local businesses that bore the brunt of the pandemic's impact.  

Giuseppe Roscioli, the head of Rome's hotel association, sees the boom in tourism as a "magic moment" following nearly three years of widespread hotel closures. In response to the surge in demand, room prices have sharply increased — by 20% in Rome, 30% in London and a remarkable 50% in Paris. 

However, not all tourists are bringing positive attention. 

In June, two American tourists were caught pushing and throwing their electric scooters down the Spanish Steps in Rome, causing $25,000 worth of damage, according to local officials. 

In Rome, one tourist was caught using a key to carve his and his girlfriend's names into the Colosseum, which could cost him more than $16,000 in fines or five years in jail. 

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