US travellers name romantic cities

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON, 5 February 2016: Romance is in the air, and a majority of US travellers appear to feel most amorous when there are travelling than staying at home.

This is the takeaway from a study, released ahead of Valentine’s Day, that examines American attitudes toward travel and love

The study, commissioned by Expedia and conducted by GfK, is titled “Expedia Heat Index.” It reveals that 32% of respondents felt beach travel was the “most romantic,” followed by 27% who preferred international and exotic destinations. Another 22% of respondents tabbed the countryside, while just 4% selected cities.

St. Peter's cathedral at night, RomeMore than half of respondents (55%) said they would be “very or somewhat likely” to propose to their companion while on vacation.

GfK asked 1,027 Americans a range of romance-related questions, including which cities offer the most attractive dating populations, which destinations are most romantic, how often have they begun or ended love affairs while travelling.

Expedia’s head of communications, Sarah Gavin, said travel and romance were tightly intertwined.

“Travel can also be a good barometer of a couple’s compatibility,” she said. “It’s well known by now that ‘experiences’ make people happier than ‘things,’ so this Valentine’s Day, rather than making a reservation at a restaurant nearby, consider a reservation on the other side of the world.”

Right on cue, Paris ranked highest among respondents as the most romantic city to visit, when asked to select the most romantic cities from a list of global destinations. It gained thumbs up from 69% of those surveyed.

The top 10 most romantic cities, according to the US survey were: Paris 69%; Rome 56%; Florence 43%; New York 26%; Barcelona 24%; Rio de Janeiro 23%; San Francisco 21%; Cancun 20%; London 20%; Vienna 18%. Not a single Asia-Pacific city figured on the list, possibly due to the long flight times and cost of fares.

Paris was also chosen as the city where Americans would most want to spend Valentine’s Day when single. 14% chose Paris and 12% chose New York, followed by Las Vegas (11%), Miami (7%) and Rome (6%).