Eastern Europe attracts US visitors
LONDON, 28 February 2012: Eastern Europe is emerging as a strong destination for Americans, who will combine stays in Europe with visits to the up-coming Summer Olympics in London.
According to Gate 1 Travel, a leader in independent and escorted travel, eastern European countries are seeing increases in visitors thanks in part to river cruises. The number of customers booking travel to eastern Europe between 2010 and 2011 through Gate 1 Travel has increased by 91% the company reported.
One reason why travel to eastern Europe has increased is because of new cruises established on the Svir and Volga rivers in Russia. These cruise ships give travellers the opportunity to see a different side of Russia, including destinations outside of St. Petersburg and Moscow. Tourists can visit Yaroslavl, a UNESCO world heritage site, or the small island of Kizhi, which features two beautiful churches built in the 17th century made entirely out of wood. Travellers can also visit Goritsy, home of the Monastery of St. Cyril, one of Russia’s largest monasteries.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have also increased their market share of US tourists according to advance booking trends. The Summer Olympics provide an added incentive for US travellers to visit the UK capital, but due to the high cost of hotels many visitors will extend their trips in eastern Europe rather than in the UK.