Archive for the ‘international tours’ Category

Iceland, Colombia, Vietnam Top List of Emerging Destinations for 2018, US Tour Operators Say

February 12, 2018
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Iceland was named top emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destination for 2018 by US tour operators © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK – In a survey of US tour operators, Iceland was named top emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destination for 2018, moving to the top spot from second in last year’s member survey.  Colombia followed in second, with Vietnam named as third.

When asked for the five most popular or “hot” international destinations for travelers in 2018, members of the US Tour Operators Association (USTOA) named Australia, Spain, Iceland and Italy (tied for third), France, and Japan.  On the domestic front, USTOA members forecast California, Florida and Hawaii (tied for second), New York, Alaska and Nevada (tied for fourth) and Washington DC as the most popular U.S. destinations for clients in 2018.

Members were also asked to name the destinations/sites most “at risk” from disappearing (from over-tourism, climate change or other factors) that travelers should see now. The top three chosen were Antarctica, Cuba and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Arts and culture, adventure, family, and culinary were cited as the most popular travel categories for passengers by survey participants.

In the annual survey of travel forecasts and trends, the tour operators report a strikingly positive outlook for the industry in the year ahead.  Nearly all (95%) USTOA tour operator members anticipate growth in sales for the year ending in 2018. Two thirds (64%) of members are “optimistic” and forecasting a “boom year” with growth anywhere from seven to 10% or higher.

After strong sales increases in 2017, “Member confidence levels for continued growth in 2018 are high,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA.  “The reported growth and positive projections the year ahead are particularly encouraging. It speaks soundly to the remarkable resilience of both our industry as well as today’s traveler, who continues to explore, despite the challenges of an ever-changing world.”

While USTOA tour operator members view the forthcoming year with strong optimism, they also addressed the global risks that could impact potential growth in 2018. Terrorism is cited as the biggest threat to consumer confidence, followed by political instability, and global financial instability named third.

In addition, when asked which global events could have the greatest impact for the travel industry in 2018, more than one third (38%) named the sharing economy; a little more than a quarter (28%) cited the Chinese market.

Representing nearly $15 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 8.6 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe.   Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents. For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com.

 

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Insight Vacations Launches New Exotics Collection

December 29, 2013

Insight Vacations has just released its new Exotics Collection, featuring a range of premium escorted journeys, a majestic new destination, and a variety of authentic Signature Hotels, Dining and Experiences. For the first time, the brochure includes an augmented feature that enables you to enjoy India’s flavor using your smartphone to get a preliminary taste of what this incredible region has to offer.

The Exotics Collection offers luxury tours to India, Bhutan, Nepal, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

“We are thrilled with the success of our India program since launching in 2012, and we are delighted we can continue to introduce new product to this extraordinary region,” says Marc Kazlauskas, President of Insight Vacations. “Each itinerary featured in the Exotics Collection has been chosen to showcase these culturally and historically rich destinations, and when combined with Insight’s Signature inclusions, we guarantee our guests a truly unforgettable experience.”

The Exotic Collection’s Signature Experiences include game safaris in search of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bhutanese cooking classes, and a guided tour of Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Guests stay at hand-selected Signature Hotels with highlights such as the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Bangalore’s opulent Leela Palace, and the Divani Caravel hotel in Athens. Guests enjoy delectable Signature Dining experiences at every magnificent turn, including a cooking demonstration with a renowned chef in Olympia and a highlight luncheon at India’s Laxmi Vilas Palace.

“When traveling to these wonderful countries with Insight, you can be assured that your safety, comfort and security are our absolute priority – our ground teams are the very best in the business,” says John Boulding, President and CEO of Insight Vacations. “They will take care of you every step of the way.”

Two new itineraries have been added in India, including a sojourn from Delhi to Udaipur on the Colors of Rajasthan and a venture through Mystical South India where guests visit some of India’s oldest temples from Kochi to Chennai. Bhutan – Dragon Kingdom highlights the newest destination to feature its own itinerary, due to the rising increase in Bhutan’s popularity. Additional new 2014 features include four-day stopovers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, extensive hotel upgrades, additional transfers and flight inclusions on some itineraries and extensive Wi-Fi availability on coaches and in hotels.

Insight Vacations is a part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world. To find out more about our work with TreadRight visit: www.TreadRight.org.

For more information, visit www.insightvacations.com. For reservations, contact your travel agent or call Insight Vacations at 888-680-1241.

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