WHERE UPSCALE TRAVELLERS ARE HEADING
WHERE UPSCALE TRAVELLERS ARE HEADING
What are the hottest upscale destinations for this year's holiday season? International luxury travel network Virtuoso has the answer. Virtuoso has sourced data from its warehouse of more than $35 billion in transactions to disclose the top destinations for Canadians and Americans for the coming fall and holiday period.
Luxury North American travellers are remaining true to European favorites, while turning their attention to warmer climes as the weather shifts at home. They also are seeking out more exotic locales worldwide, including a boom for African countries.
The Virtuoso Top 10:
The most popular fall and holiday travel destinations based on future bookings.
3. United Kingdom
4. South Africa
9. New Zealand
The Top 10 analysis:
Europe's unrivaled popularity for summer travel continues into the fall.
Travellers are enjoying lower average daily rates (ADRs) at Virtuoso partner hotels in major European cities as summer ends. In particular, Paris is down two percent ($1,087), Rome is six percent lower ($949), London is down seven percent ($704) and Barcelona comes in 15 percent lower than summer rates ($596). London and Barcelona in particular represent great value to travellers this fall and holiday season, as they are respectively 21 and 43 percent below the average ADR for Virtuoso partner properties in Europe, which is $853.
Also noteworthy: Mexico's appeal as a warm-weather getaway for Americans and Canadians holds fast despite Zika cautions. Australia and New Zealand are always favored destinations once the Northern Hemisphere cools. In spite of continued Middle East unrest, Israel's popularity is undiminished. It is a sought-out destination not only for its religious significance, but also for its history, food, culture and adventure experiences.
The Virtuoso Hot 10:
The countries that have seen the largest percentage of growth in year-over-year bookings.
1. Kenya (+59%)
2. Iceland (+56%)
3. Saint Martin (+39%)
4. China (+35%)
5. Ecuador (+34%)
6. Japan (+32%)
7. South Africa (+28%)
8. Tanzania (+27%)
9. Croatia (+25%)
10. Jamaica (+23%)
The Hot 10 analysis:
Africa continues to surge in popularity, a continuation of the trend Virtuoso noted for summer travel. With sales up 28 percent year over year, Africa is the only continent to post such an increase. Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, all strong safari destinations, will benefit from a projected 17 percent increase.
According to Virtuoso's travel advisors, safaris are particularly appealing for multigenerational family trips with plenty to see and enjoy for travelers of all ages.
Iceland has been a growing favorite in recent years, and its prominent showing on the Hot 10 proves that its popularity is extending into the fall.
China has been trending upwards with luxury travelers over the past few years. While travel there is steady year round, the last quarter of the year is the most popular time for visitors, aided by ADRs that are five percent below average.
Select Caribbean and South American destinations continue to see growth, with Saint Martin, Ecuador and Jamaica experiencing double-digit increases over last year.
Data is drawn from Virtuoso's United States and Canadian-based travel agency members and reflects future travel for September through December 2016. The Top and Hot 10 lists represent international travel only, so neither the US nor Canada is mentioned.
The findings were announced during the annual Virtuoso Travel Week event taking place in Las Vegas.
Prices are in US dollars.
You will visit the following 14 places:
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a large country in Eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. Parts of the country are in Southern Africa. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania. Tanzania is diverse, composed of several ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital city has been Dodoma, where the President's Office, theNational Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, and leading commercial centre.
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. It is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. It is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. With golden beaches, jagged mountains and national parks overflowing with wildlife, South Africa is the Africa you’ve always imagined. While memories of a troubled past remain, the republic is well on the way to regaining its throne as the holiday capital of Africa, visited by nearly 10 million people every year.
Croatia is an Eastern European country with a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Ranking the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, Croatia is blessed with a wealth of natural riches, boasting almost 2000km of rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, many blanketed in luxuriant vegetation. Even during the heavily visited months of July and August there are still enough off-the-beaten-track islands, quiet coves and stone-built fishing villages to make you feel as if you’re visiting Europe at its most unspoiled.
Australia is an Oceanian country, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. For most visitors its name is a shorthand for an endless summer where the living is easy. It is great a place where the adventures are as vast as the horizons and the jokes flow as freely as the beer; a country of can-do spirit and easy friendliness!
Spain – one of Europe’s most top travel destinations for its fantastic beaches, islands, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning and diverse countryside, buzzing nightlife, delicious cuisine and world-famous fiestas! The country is a friendly, multicultural society dedicated to building curious minds, positive attitudes and creative spirits. With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip.
Israel is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It is considered part of the Holy Land (together with areas of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Territories). The four major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahaism—all have historical ties to the region. Israel thus contains a vibrant modern history and culture, based in part on the diverse, immigrant origins of its inhabitants returning from the Jewish Diaspora. These aspects make Israel a fascinating destination for many travelers and pilgrims. As a result of this vast mix of culture, in addition to the official languages of Hebrew and Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish, Amharic and Yiddish are also spoken by a significant minority of Israelis.
Ecuador is a country in Northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, lying on the Equator between Colombia, to the northeast, and Peru. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though thirteen Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil. In reflection of the country's rich cultural heritage, the historical center of Quito was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Ecuador has a developing economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. The country is classified as a medium-income country. Ecuador's economy is the eighth largest in Latin America and experienced an average growth of 4.6% between 2000 and 2006. The country was able to maintain relatively superior growth during the crisis. The country also has potential for the industry in a variety of sectors, including domestic production of raw materials and manufactured textiles, mining, chemical, petrochemical, and oil refinement. Power generation is also a potential sector that is starting to be developed due to Ecuador's high water potential in various sectors of the country; the development of products based on the melting or glass materials, production and agro-processed foods, and pharmaceutical production, among others. The most relevant project currently under development is the Pacific refinery, located in Manta, which will be one of the largest in the region.
Japan, an island and a leading nation in East Asia. It's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Home to the world's largest urban metropolis, rugged wilderness, and a culture steeped in ancient tradition, Japan is a travellers dream! It is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index whose population enjoys the highest life expectancy. Tokyo, the crowded and vibrant capital, is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture.
New Zealand is a country of marvellous and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. The country also often adds an adventure twist to nature: it's the original home of jet-boating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.
Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend, particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction. All these people come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, long Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian's dream that is Normandy. The country seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. France citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development.
Iceland, a mountainous Nordic island nation, is located between Europe and North America. It is a stunningly beautiful place if you enjoy strange and desolate landscapes. It's vibrant capital, Reykjavik, is relaxed and welcoming, yet possesses a cultural life that holds its own against other European capitals. Many of the country’s most popular sights are within easy reach of Reykjavík. Immerse yourself in the spirit of Iceland, at the Blue Lagoon. Then spend a day or two in The Golden Circle, an area which encompasses three of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders; Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Field, and Gullfoss!
China (officially the People's Republic of China (PRC) – an ancient, mysterious and beautiful land, is always appealing to adventurous foreign visitors. The first thing that strikes visitors to the country is the extraordinary density of its population. In much of China, villages, towns and cities seem to sprawl endlessly into one another along the grey arteries of busy expressways. The main tourist highlights – the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army and the Yangzi gorges, are relatively few considering the vast size of the country, and much of China’s historic architecture has been deliberately destroyed in the rush to modernize.
Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean, located to the south of Cuba and to the west of the island of Hispaniola. It is best known for its lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in the vibrant city, Montego Bay, with its British colonial architecture, and Negril, renowned for diving and snorkelling. Jamaica's climate is tropical, supporting diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals. Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Named Santiago, it remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered the island and renamed it Jamaica. Under British rule, Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on slaves imported from Africa, followed later by Chinese and Indian indentured labour.