Study: Travellers return to European cities

According to the latest survey, Italy and Rome are this year’s favourites - Londoners among the most friendly and helpful.After an extended flirtation with the East European cities such as Prague it seems that many of the world’s travellers have decided to return to the West.

According to a recent survey carried out by the world’s largest online travel information and advice site, TripAdvisor, of more than 1,800 travellers worldwide, seventy percent of respondents said they would rather travel to Western Europe this year.

Eastern Europe was the preferred European region last year according to a similar TripAdvisor(TM) survey carried out in May 2005. Of those polled sixty-two percent of travellers said they intended to visit Europe in 2006 with Italy as the top European destination.

When asked if they could choose just one Western European city to visit in 2006, Rome was the most popular destination among travellers, with sister Italian city Venice placing second.

Contrary to their stereotype reserved image, Londoners were voted among the friendliest and most helpful locals, being just edged out of first place by Dubliners. Americans however gave Londoners the vote for being the most affable citizens in Europe.


Athenians and Moscovites were considered among the least friendly and helpful locals in Europe’s major capital cities. When it comes to food, Italy was the overwhelming top choice (54 percent) for best cuisine.

England only attracted 3.7 percent of the vote coming fifth behind France, Spain and Greece but just ahead of Germany. “We are seeing a trend shift with travellers now favouring classic popular destinations such as Rome, Venice, Paris and London, while Eastern Europe was all the rage in 2005,” said Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor.

“With all of the incredible variety Europe has to offer, it was surprising that the top two cities according to travellers are both in Italy.”