Posts Tagged ‘where to go next’

Where To Go In 2020: US Tour Operators Reveal Top Travel Trends For 2020

January 2, 2020

Eric2018-Ven-Tri-Ist Bike_083118_1480e2(c) Karen Rubin-Porec.jpg

Arriving in Porec, Croatia, the end-point of Biketours.com’s 8-day self-guided bike tour that started in Venice, Italy. US tour operators see Croatia as a top emerging destination; Italy as the most popular destination for 2020 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released results of its annual travel trend and forecast survey of the association’s active tour operator members naming Italy the most popular destination for travelers in 2020.

The top five “hot” destinations for next year also included France, which ranked second; followed by Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom (tied for third); Ireland and Japan (tied for fourth), Germany tying South Africa for fifth.

“Europe has a very strong presence, which we saw in last year’s survey reinforcing continued interest and growth in European travel among US consumers, driven by both more product and more demand,” cited Terry Dale, President and CEO of USTOA.

USTOA tour operator members also identified their top five off-the-beaten path or emerging destinations that they see gaining popularity in 2020: Egypt, Croatia and Colombia tied for first. “Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story,” added Dale. “It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years.”  Making the list for the first time, Slovenia was named second, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, and Morocco and Ethiopia (tied for fifth).

On the domestic front, USTOA members forecast California as the most popular U.S. destination for clients in 2020. New York came in second, with Florida and Nevada tied for third, followed by Arizona, and Alaska and Hawaii (tied for fifth).

Arts and culture was cited by survey participants as the top travel category driving sales in 2019, wildlife and nature followed in a close second.  Local immersion, small groups/small ships and uncharted destinations were named by Active Members as the top three travel trends projected to grow the most over the next five years.

Members were also asked to name the destinations/sites that travelers should see now, with some sense of urgency before overcrowding, climate change or other factors impact the experience.

Antarctica was named first, followed by Machu Picchu in Peru, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Venice, Italy (tied for third).

Who is Traveling?

Just shy of two thirds (60%) of members’ customer base are 51 years of age and older. The next largest age group is 35 to 50 years old, representing 20% of customers. Almost half (44%) of members named multigenerational family as their top growing passenger category in 2019.

Growth Ahead

Roughly 82% of USTOA tour operator members anticipate growth in sales for the year ending in 2020 with nearly half (45%) “optimistic” and forecasting a “boom year” with growth anywhere from seven to 10% or higher.

“Member confidence levels for the year ahead are high with roughly three quarters of our tour operator members ‘confident’ or ‘highly confident’ that revenues will increase in the coming year,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA.  “This is particularly encouraging especially as we approach a election year, when, historically, consumer spending is more conservative.”

“In fact, when asked about potential threats to traveler confidence in the year ahead, the presidential election year topped the list,” Dale continued. Recession was named the second global risk that could impact potential growth in 2020, followed by global financial instability in third.

Research from the new member survey was revealed at USTOA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace, December 2 to December 6 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, FL.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 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.

 

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New York Times Travel Show to Showcase Latest Global Travel Trends, Jan 24-26

January 2, 2020

At the New York Times Travel Show, travelers get a taste of cultures from around the world and meet representatives of destinations and travel companies © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK—Dubai Tourism, in association with Expo 2020 Dubai, will be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 New York Times Travel Show, to be held on January 24-26, 2020 in the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

Dubai Tourism will offer Travel Show attendees a variety of Dubai-focused programming and incentives during each day of the annual event, including a Dubai Focus on Travel session on Friday, January 24 for the travel trade and a presentation Saturday, January 25 for travelers.

“Together with Expo 2020, being the Presenting Sponsor at such a key show is a testament to how important the U.S. market is to Dubai,” says Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM). “During the New York Times Travel Show, we are looking to engage with new partners and strengthen our relationships within the US travel trade ecosystem and to highlight Dubai’s destination proposition to American travelers.”

“In 2020, Dubai will host the World Expo, one of the biggest events held in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa,” says Sanjive Khosla, Chief Commercial Officer, Expo 2020. “As a co-Presenting-Sponsor with Dubai Tourism, we aim to increase awareness and understanding of Expo 2020 Dubai–the world’s greatest show amongst the U.S. travel audience through The New York Times Travel Show.”

The 2020 New York Times Travel Show–now in its 17th year–will open with a Trade Day exclusively for over 11,000 travel industry professionals and media on Friday, January 26; Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27 will be open to over 23,000 consumer travelers, as well as to travel professionals and media. The three-day showcase will feature global cuisine tastings, cultural performances, travel book signings, one-on-one conversations with travel experts and special discounts and offers for consumers of all ages from over 750 exhibitors.

This year, Travel Show attendees will be able to partake in a variety of offerings related to travel to countless destinations and other program highlights including a Trade Day keynote panel on the state of the travel industry, moderated by James Shillinglaw; expanded Travel Products; an LGBTQ pavilion; a Family Fun stage; and much more.

Dubai Tourism in association with Expo 2020 is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 New York Times Travel Show. Turkish Airlines is a Platinum Sponsor; South African Tourism is a Gold Sponsor; MSC CRUISES, Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board and Greek National Tourism Organization are Silver Sponsors; and I LOVE NY is a Bronze Sponsor.

Travel Industry Association Sponsors include Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), Destination Wedding & Honeymoon, Specialists Association (DWHSA), European Travel Commission (ETA), Family Travel Association (FTA), International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), Millennials in Travel (MIT), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Travel Goods Association (TGA), and U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

Travel Industry Media Sponsors include, GoNomad, Destination I Do Magazine, Healthy Aging Magazine, Insider Travel Report, ManAboutWorld, Passport Magazine, TAConnect, TravAlliancemedia, and Travel Market Report.

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Where to Go in 2019: USTOA Reveals Top Destinations, Travel Trends

February 7, 2019
Venice_082518_576e2(c) Karen Rubin

Venice, Italy. USTOA named Italy as the top destination for 2019, but also raised concern about the impact of overtourism in the most popular places, like Venice. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) named Italy the most popular or “hot” destination for travelers in 2019, in a recent survey conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

The top 10 “hot” destinations for the coming year also included Iceland, which ranked second, followed by Japan, Vietnam, Australia, France, Spain, Colombia, Cambodia and Portugal.

USTOA tour operator members also identified their top 10 off-the-beaten path or emerging destinations that they see gaining popularity in 2019: Iceland ranked first, Cambodia ranked second, followed by Croatia, Colombia, Vietnam, Portugal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Myanmar, and Ethiopia.

“It’s interesting see five destinations – Iceland, Cambodia, Colombia, Vietnam and Portugal – appear on both the hot destinations and emerging destinations lists,” added Terry Dale, President and CEO of USTOA. “This tells us that off-the-beaten path travel experiences continue to grow in popularity among travelers.”

Demand for immersive, culturally rich travel programs continue to remain high. Roughly 82% of members offer art and culture travel experiences. The art and culture category was also the highest ranked experiential program for travelers in 2017, based on volume of sales. Two thirds of membership offer honeymoon and romance programs, 63% of members offer adventure programs, and more than half (56%) offer multi-generational family programs.

Economic Impact and Growth Ahead

According to the study, the tour operator members of USTOA project to close out 2018 with sales reaching $18.7 billion dollars, representing 9.8 million individual travelers.

Furthermore, member operators are extremely confident about business in the year ahead: 100% of responding tour operator members anticipate growth in sales in 2019.

“Since the first PwC study was commissioned in 2012, it’s the first time we’ve seen such a bullish response with our entire membership projecting growth ahead,” said Dale. “It’s even more encouraging that more than half of members (56%) forecast growth of sales ranging from seven to 10% or more in 2019, indicating a potential boom year.”

While the Active Members of USTOA view the upcoming year with optimism, they also addressed the global risks that could impact the industry over the next three years. Terrorism topped the list with 17% of members responding they are “extremely concerned.”  However, this level of concern is a considerable drop compared to the 2016 PwC study when more than half of member (59%) were “extremely concerned.”

Political instability and overtourism, a new category this year, were the next two global risks that members were “extremely concerned” about, as named by 13% of survey respondents.

In addition, tour operator members projected that roughly 63% of total packages sold in 2018 were through travel agencies, “Reinforcing the critical role of travel advisors in the continued success of members’ businesses,” Dale cited.

When asked whose traveling, tour operator members responded that about half (48%) of their customer base are 51 to 70 years of age. The next largest category was age 36 to 50 years representing 20% of customers. Gender is split evenly with 51% female and 49% male.  Within the escorted/guided and custom tour category, female passengers were represented slightly higher at 59%.

The research was released at USTOA’s 40th Annual Conference & Marketplace, held at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in Phoenix AZ, November 26-30, 2018.

U.S. Tour Operators Association members, representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually 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, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

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