Personal Finance

5 international destinations gaining the most American tourists

Seljalandsfoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
Tomas Sereda | Getty Images

Ready to book summer travel plans but don't know where to go? You may want to consider these five fastest-growing international destinations for American tourists.

Israel is gaining the most traction with U.S. travelers who purchased travel insurance through comparison website Squaremouth, according to the St. Petersburg, Florida-based company.

The firm's rankings are based on data Squaremouth collects when customers input their destination and trip costs into the site to compare policies.

The cost of visiting some of these fastest-growing destinations is also surging. Travelling to Iceland cost 20 percent more for visitors seeking travel insurance between March 2017 and March 2018 than the 2016-2017 period.

Visitors to Norway spent almost double that of tourists going to other popular destinations, with expenses increasing more than 12 percent in the last year. The average spent by U.S. visitors to the top five destinations was about $4,075. Here's a look at the top five global hot spots:

1. Israel 

Surfers ride the waves on a beach in Tel Aviv, Israel
Ahikam Seri | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Travel interest increase: 48%

Average trip cost: $3,318

Year-over-year cost increase: 5.6%

More tourists than ever visited Israel in 2017, according to the country's tourism ministry, drawn to its famous holy sites and beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. The most visited spots include Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee area.

2. Iceland 

Man looking at Aurora Borealis in northern Iceland.
Ingólfur Bjargmundsson | Getty Images

Travel interest increase: 43%

Average trip cost: $3,938

Y-O-Y cost increase: 19.55%

More tourists have been flocking to Iceland for its dramatic and diverse landscape, peppered with volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs — not to mention the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. Hollywood has also given the Nordic country a boost. Films like "Interstellar" and "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and hit television show "Game of Thrones" were filmed in the country.

3. Portugal 

A couple look at Alfama, one of the city's historic neighborhoods, from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia in Lisbon, Portugal.
Horacio Villalobos | Getty Images

Travel interest boost: 42%

Average trip cost: $3,527

Y-O-Y cost decrease: 10.19%

The influx of tourists has helped the Mediterranean nation's once-floundering economy. With its affordability, beaches, cuisine and wines, Portugal won the accolade for Europe's Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards in 2017.

4. Vietnam

A farmer harvests rice on a field next to residential buildings on the outskirts of Hanoi.
Hoang Dinh Nam | AFP | Getty Images

Travel interest boost: 39%

Average trip cost: $3,233

Y-O-Y cost decrease: 3.1%

Vietnamese cities are flourishing due to economic growth. That's drawn more and more visitors to historical, attraction-rich areas such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The once war-torn, now booming southeast Asian country also boasts exotic natural beauty at iconic sites such as Halong Bay.

5. Norway

Geiranger fjord, Norway
Moment | Getty Images

Travel interest boost: 36%

Average trip cost: $6,360

Y-O-Y cost increase: 12.3%

Tourism to Norway has surged thanks to the "Frozen effect." Visitors have been clamoring to see the fjords and snow-capped peaks that inspired the hit Disney film. However, Squaremouth found that travelers to Norway — one of the world's wealthiest countries, with a per capita gross domestic product of $70,590 according to the International Monetary Fund — willingly fork over nearly double, at an average $6,360, what compatriots visiting the other four fast-growing destinations spend.