Archive for the ‘trends in travel’ 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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Virtuoso Luxe Report Picks Top Destinations for Affluent Travelers in 2015

January 28, 2015
 Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

NEW YORK Virtuoso®, an international network of luxury travel agencies, has unveiled its 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report, the results of which are based on an annual survey of its professional travel advisors. Recognized throughout the industry as an authoritative trend-predictor, the report forecasts luxury travel trends and favored destinations while offering insight into the patterns and decisions of the world’s most affluent travelers.

For the first time in five years, river cruising trumped multigenerational travel as the number one trend and Croatia secured the top spot in the “Emerging Destinations” category (the country didn’t make the “top 10” in 2014). Iceland is on the rise while Cuba, Myanmar, and Bhutan continue to be favored emerging destinations. “Adventure travel” surfaced as a dominant trend for 2015 with Costa Rica and South Africa sweeping the top two spots, respectively, proving travelers are less interested in sitting still.

The love affair with Italy continues as it reigned supreme for the “Top International Destination” as well as the favorite country for family travel and honeymoons.  France, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia follow as top international locales, respectively.

Within the U.S., New York City maintained its top spot, followed by Maui, Napa Valley/Sonoma, and Las Vegas. Miami/South Beach climbed three places to reach the “top 5,” bumping Hawaii’s Big Island to ninth place.

Honeymooners showed they are seeking romance at tried and true favorites, as well as some more exotic locales. The most popular honeymoon destinations included Italy, Maui, French Polynesia, France, and the Maldives.

Exploring new destinations, seeking authentic experiences, rest and relaxation, and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones prove to be the key motivators behind high-end travel.

Key findings from the 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends

  1. River cruising
  2. Multigenerational travel
  3. Active or adventure trips
  4. Celebration travel
  5. Family travel (immediate)

Top Domestic Destinations  

  1. New York, NY
  2. Maui, HI
  3. Napa Valley/Sonoma, CA
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. Miami/South Beach, FL

Top International Destinations

  1.  Italy
  2. France
  3. Mexico
  4. South Africa
  5. Australia

Top Family Travel Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Mexico
  4. Hawaii
  5. England

Top Adventure Destinations

  1. Costa Rica
  2. South Africa
  3. Galapagos Islands
  4. New Zealand
  5. Peru

 Top Honeymoon Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Maui, HI
  3. French Polynesia
  4. France
  5. Maldives

A record total of 599 travel advisors from Virtuoso member agencies in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe participated in the survey.

Virtuoso® is a leading network of luxury travel advisors and entities.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises 355 agencies with more than 8,900 travel specialists in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe, as well as over 1,700 travel providers and destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $14 billion annually in travel sales, making the group one of the largest in the luxury travel segment.  Their relationships with the travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. For more information, visit http://www.virtuoso.com. To view Virtuoso’s latest videos, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/VirtuosoTraveler.

 

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