Europe officially closed its borders to the US for over a year, as the country suffered some of the worst COVID-19 impacts in the Global North.
However, the EU has opened travel back up to US citizens because it is now one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.
The list is under constant review but, these are the countries Americans can travel to right now. Full vaccination status is required in many for entry.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- North Macedonia
In Asia for example, this is not the case. Many Asian countries have been much slower to reopen to international tourism than the rest of world.
Japan and China are still closed to US leisure travellers.
How much does the EU rely on American tourism?
Europe is the USA's number one tourist destination. In the past year, the American tourist drought has cost the industry billions of euros.
Those who rely most heavily on the American traveller include France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Worldwide, Europe is the leading tourist destination, with the industry contributing 10 per cent to EU GDP and creating 26 million jobs.
To put that into perspective when it comes to the US, Americans alone made up nearly 18 million of the 538 million travel arrivals in 2017.
Over half of hotel stays in Europe were taken up by Americans in 2016. This upward spike continued until COVID struck.
Why is Europe so popular with US tourists?
From a historical perspective, the modern US remains relatively young when compared to the ancient roots of many European countries. On behalf of Spain, Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, putting the contemporary culture at just 500 years old.
America’s backstory is far removed from Europe’s history and culture, with its diverse tapestry of empires and eras. The continent is often viewed as this romantic vision of quiet cobbled streets, good food, small cities and iconic sights.
In a more general sense, Europe is an extremely diverse part of the world. While America - such a mindblowingly huge land mass - has the oceans and beaches, the mountains and canyons, the desert lands and plains, Europe has the different languages and the complex variations of culture and beliefs.
It’s no wonder the continent is - well, such a wonder to the US.
Find out more about what’s happening in Europe right now here.