Budget Travel in Europe: How Albania Became a Must-Visit Destination

 Industry experts note that American tourists traveling to Europe are taking a different approach this summer, paying special attention to costs and how they organize their European vacations. This insight was highlighted by Nicole Edenedo in an article published in the American magazine “US Travel Weekly.”

View from Sarande Promenade
View from Sarande Promenade

According to the “2024 Trends” report by the Mastercard Economics Institute, tourists, regardless of their income levels, are increasingly focusing on the “cost” of their planned international trips this summer. This shift is prompting changes in their typical destination choices, travel timing, and trip duration.

“Price-based travel is happening globally, with travelers opting for more affordable alternative destinations in regions like Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” the report states.

This trend has spurred increased demand for travel to places like Japan, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic, where lower hotel prices and overall costs make these destinations attractive and affordable for sun and sand enthusiasts.

However, the emphasis on cost is particularly strong in Europe, where prices remain higher than usual due to increased demand and inflation.

With no signs of price drops on the horizon, Mastercard economists indicate that tourists are beginning to choose different, less-known destinations, such as Albania.

During the peak summer season, tourists are opting for more affordable European destinations like Albania, Croatia, and Turkey, which have seen the highest growth in flight traffic since 2019.

“Flight routes to Albania have doubled, increasing the number of tourists from 12 million in 2019 to 17 million in 2023,” the report notes.

Tirana, the capital of Albania, ranks third, following Munich and Tokyo, among the top trending cities for summer flight bookings from June to August.
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