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These are the fastest growing travel destinations in Europe of 2017, so far

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 07-07-2017

Aurora over Iceland © Provided by AFPRelaxNews Aurora over Iceland Iceland is Europe's fastest growing travel destination of 2017 so far, marking a six-year streak that shows no sign of slowing. 

In the latest edition of the European Travel Commission's 2017 travel and trends report, Iceland reported a 56 percent spike in visits in the first four months of the year compared to the same period of 2016. 

The Nordic nation has been the top-performing European growth destination since 2012, with movies and shows like "Game of Thrones," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Interstellar" shining the spotlight on the country and inspiring wanderlust in intrepid travelers. 

Clever and aggressive tourism marketing campaigns have also helped sell the country on its otherworldly landscape, unique, natural surroundings and friendly Icelanders in recent years.

Over the last five years, growth per annum has averaged 25 percent to the country, with 2016 recording an whopping 40 percent growth.  

But analysts expect the streak to slow in the coming years, owing to accommodation capacity and other infrastructure constraints which are having a hard time keeping up with the tourism boom. 

Meanwhile, following a sizable gap, Montenegro is the second fastest-growing destination in Europe of 2017 so far, posting 25 percent growth compared to last year.

Rounding out the top five spots are Malta, Finland and Cyprus. 

The report also notes that Finland has become especially interesting for Chinese travelers, with a sizable number of arrivals from China this year. A similar trend is also seen for Estonia. 

Improved air connectivity is credited with helping Portugal, Serbia and Croatia boost their arrivals numbers, while Croatia and Bulgaria also saw a notable increase in visitors from the UK.

Here are the top 10 fastest growing destinations in Europe of 2017 so far: 

1. Iceland 
2. Montenegro 
3. Malta 
4. Finland 
5. Cyprus 
6. Bulgaria 
7. Portugal 
8. Serbia  
9. Croatia  
10. Spain 

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