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Americans pick Paris as the world's most romantic city in Expedia travel study

A new study commissioned by Expedia reveals the most romantic cities in the world and that more people are intimate on vacation.
/ Source: TODAY

Sure, lighting candles and going out to dinner can certainly set the mood, but it seems a majority of travelers feel the most romantic when they're on the go.

A new study commissioned by Expedia and conducted by global market research company GfK asked 1,027 Americans a range of romance-related questions, including which cities offer the most attractive dating populations, which destinations are most romantic, how often they have begun or ended love affairs while traveling and much more.

The results of the “Expedia Heat Index" revealed that 32 percent of participants felt beach travel is the “most romantic,” 27 percent preferred international and exotic destinations, 22 percent chose the countryside, and only 4 percent opted for cities.

New study reveals the strong connection between travel and love
Couple at dinnerGetty Images stock

“Travel can also be a good barometer of a couple’s compatibility,” Sarah Gavin, Expedia’s head of communications, said. “It’s well known by now that ‘experiences’ make people happier than ‘things,’ so this Valentine’s Day, rather than making a reservation at a restaurant nearby, consider a reservation on the other side of the world.”

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In fact, the majority of people (55 percent) admitted that they were more likely to get intimate with their partner while on vacation. And a recent poll of more than 3,100 travelers confirmed the same, with 81 percent of respondents saying they think sex is better in hotels.

"When you are away from the norm you don't necessarily have a prescription or ingrained routine for how to behave and what to feel," certified behavior analyst Jessica Stephans told TODAY. "And anonymity plays a big factor. When there is a smaller (or zero) chance of someone being able to identify you, you're more likely to behave in ways you typically would not otherwise. Maybe this means being a little louder, maybe this means being a little more risky... sex on the beach anyone?"

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The stats back up this notion. While the study revealed hotel rooms were the most popular venue for getting busy, a large number changed things up by being intimate in the shower, (25 percent) on a beach (23 percent), in a hot tub (17 percent), in an outdoor tent (16 percent), in a pool and on a balcony (10 percent). Four percent claim to have been intimate in a rental car.

So where do people feel is the most romantic place in the world? Not shockingly, it's Paris. When asked to select the most romantic cities from a list of global destinations, the City of Light trumped its competition, as it was chosen by 69 percent of Americans.

Paris is the world's most romantic city according to Americans in a recent Expedia study
A couple seated facing each other on a wall in the city of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background;Shutterstock

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But what about single folks? Despite it being the city of love, Paris was also chosen as the city that Americans would most want to spend Valentine’s Day when solo. But when it came to the best city to live in when you don't have a partner, participants chose New York (48 percent), even though Los Angeles (35 percent) was determined to have the “most attractive dating populations."

Los Angeles has the most attractive dating population according to a recent Expedia survey
Sunset at Manhattan Beach and Pier in Southern California, Los AngelesShutterstock

Check out the full results below.

Top 10 most romantic cities:

1. Paris: 69 percent

2. Rome: 56 percent

3. Florence: 43 percent

4. New York: 26 percent

5. Barcelona: 24 percent

6. Rio de Janeiro: 24 percent

7. San Francisco: 21 percent

8. Cancun: 20 percent

9. London: 20 percent

10. Vienna: 18 percent

10 sexiest cities:

1. Paris: 61 percent

2. Rome: 49 percent

3. Rio de Janeiro: 37 percent

4. Florence: 35 percent

5. Miami: 34 percent

6. Las Vegas: 32 percent

7. Cancun: 30 percent

8. New York: 28 percent

9. Barcelona: 27 percent

10. Los Angeles: 21 percent

The cities with the most attractive residents:

1. Los Angeles: 41 percent

2. New York: 36 percent

3. Miami: 32 percent

4. Paris: 30 percent

5. Rome: 25 percent

6. Rio de Janeiro: 24 percent

7. Las Vegas: 22 percent

8. San Francisco: 21 percent

9. Florence: 16 percent

10. Barcelona: 16 percent