Have American tourists been missed? 'You have no idea,' say European hotel owners

Have American tourists been missed? ‘You have no idea,’ say European hotel owners

LONDON — They have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious, but as Europe looks set to reopen its borders to foreign visitors in time for the summer travel season, it’s hoping American tourists will make a comeback.

The European Union signaled last week that it will ease restrictions for vaccinated travelers from outside the bloc, including the United States. The E.U. shut its borders last year in a bid to stop Covid-19 from spreading, but many member states that are heavily reliant on tourism are desperate for foreign travelers to return.

International arrivals to Europe dropped by 70 percent last year compared to 2019. Americans made more than 36 million trips to Europe in 2019. That number fell to 6.6 million last year, according to data from the European Travel Commission.

But with half of American adults now fully vaccinated and U.S. airlines increasingly expanding flights to Europe, some Americans are starting to consider the possibility of summer travel this year.


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