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On The Road Again

The domestic and international destinations most booked by travel agents for summer 2008.

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INTERNATIONAL

1. ITALY

18.7 percent

Who hasn't dreamt of a summer vacation to a villa in Tuscany? But Italy's cities are also major tourist attractions. From Venice and Florence to Naples and Rome, the country boasts some of the world's greatest historical sites, and some of the most fashionable as well. For example, Rome's Via dei Condotti offers designer boutiques such as Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. "We all know how expensive Europe is these days," said Tanzman. "We're now seeing a rise in clients who are taking advantage of Mediterranean cruises in order to see Europe. They get the benefit of touring European cities while still paying in U.S. dollars for food, drinks and accommodations aboard the ship." Norwegian, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines all have trips through the Mediterranean this year.

2. MEXICO

16.1 percent

"The way to see Mexico nowadays is to travel in places other than Cancun, for example," said Tanzman. "Zihuatanejo has so many wonderful resorts, and it's not as touristy, which makes it a much more attractive destination." The small fishing town, located on the west coast and featured in the film "Shawshank Redemption," is now home to several luxury boutique hotels, such as La Casa Que Canta (left), an exclusive cliff-side hotel. And nearby Ixtapa is a mecca for vacation resorts, such as the Meliá Azul Ixtapa, which is suitable for both couples and families with children. "Don't discount the all-inclusives," added Tanzman. "There is still great value to those in Mexico."

3. UNITED KINGDOM

12.5 percent

The pound may be soaring against the dollar and the English weather can be dicey at best in the summer months, but that still doesn't stop tourists from hopping a transatlantic flight to see some history and the Queen. London continues to ride the Cool Britannia wave, and long ago shook off the rap of bad food and tatty hotels. The Connaught just underwent a major revamp; the Sanderson and Saint Martin's Lane remain as trendy as ever, and there are a plethora of small hotels in Kensington and Knightsbridge. For shopping, head to the designer-filled areas around Bond Street or Sloane Street — and, of course, Harrods.
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