American Marketer

Travel and hospitality

Which destinations drew the most attention from luxury tourists this year?

December 27, 2017

Paris is the top for luxury travel. Still from Paris' tourism film by Jalil Lespert


Paris was the most popular destination for luxury travelers in 2017, according to a survey by Luxury Hotels Guides.

Despite recent upsets to its tourism numbers following a number of terror attacks, Paris appears to be on the rebound. Destinations in Europe and Asia also proved popular, drawing luxury travelers to locales such as Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The rankings are based on both the popularity of destinations among the 3 million visitors to, as well as the amount travelers spent on bookings.

Topping the list

Paris’ tourism decline following the 2015 terrorist attacks will likely see a recovery in 2018 as the city works to reestablish itself as a top travel destination.

Tourism in Paris and its surrounding areas was negatively affected by terrorism, but the City of Lights is finally bouncing back as it focuses on shopping, culture and hospitality to regain its footing. Department store Galeries Lafayette and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) along with Fondation Louis Vuitton are a few of the luxury players who are putting stock into a restored Paris next year (see story).

Dubai has emerged as a top destination for luxury travel. Image credit: Bentley

Following Paris on the rankings is Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the Middle Eastern nation, Abu Dhabi also made the list at 19, partly attributed to its creation of cultural attractions and high-end resorts.

For instance, the U.A.E. recently partnered with France to develop the Louvre Abu Dhabi, positioned as the first “universal” museum in the Arab world.

Airline Eithad Airways partnered with the museum over a shared goal of drawing visitors to the Middle East (see story).

Rounding out the top five are New York, London and Singapore.

A number of countries had multiple destinations make the top 20 list, but Italy was the most predominant with four locales: Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast and Milan. The United States also had multiple popular destinations, with Florida and Hawaii also making the cut.

While the rankings weighted popularity via traffic over expenditures, the Maldives and the Bahamas made the list at 11 and 20, respectively, for the amount spent by travelers.