Travel Leaders Group “2014 Travel Trends Survey”
Today, Travel Leaders Group unveiled the 2014 results of its authoritative annual?Travel Trends Survey.? Based on the findings, the single, hottest destination trend in travel is?European river cruising?? having landed in the Top 5 international destinations for the first time?ever?(it ranked 21st?just three years ago).? The overall top domestic and international destinations for the coming year are?Las Vegas?and?Caribbean?cruises, respectively. This year’s survey results also reveal that 85.7% of agents indicate that 2014 bookings are on par?or greater?than this time one year ago and 94% of those surveyed state client spending will be the same?or higher?in the coming year.
This survey,?based on actual booking data,?was conducted by?Travel Leaders Group?from?November 11 – December 14, 2013, and includes responses from 1,358 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units.
“If Europe could find a way to create additional scenic rivers, the travel industry ? and, in particular, our agents ? would be sending even more clients on European river cruises. Demand is definitely outpacing supply even as major river cruise lines build more ships. The continued success of river cruising is just one of many positive stories heading into the New Year,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO?Barry Liben.? “Just yesterday the Federal Reserve said it would be reducing its stimulus program because of the improvement in the ‘labor market.’ Ninety-four percent of our agents indicate that clients will be spending the same?or more?on travel in 2014, which certainly correlates to government statistics in that a significant number of people are quite confident and comfortable in spending more of their discretionary income on travel in the coming year.”
“Also exciting in our results are the unique destinations that are starting to gain a foothold with our Travel Leaders Group clients as the ‘next great’ place to visit,” added Liben. “At one time,?Burma?seemed off-limits due to its former government. But since its peaceful transition in 2010 to a civilian reformist government, this still relatively isolated nation is really opening up to tourism, and a growing number of American travelers are responding to its truly exotic allure.”
Top “Up and Coming” International Destinations:
When asked for their expert findings, Travel Leaders Group agents nationally indicate the following as the “up and coming” international destinations within?Europe, the Pacific,?Asia/Southeast Asia?and Central/South America.
- Europe “Up and Coming”:?Croatia?(25.6%),?Iceland?(14.8%),?Turkey?(13.6%),?Czech Republic?(12.1%) and?Portugal(12.0%).??Last year?Iceland?was fifth on this list with 9.9%. Delta Air Lines began serving?Iceland’s?capital of?Reykjavik?in 2013 and will resume service for Summer 2014. In 2012, Travel Leaders held its annual International Summit in Dubrovnik,?Croatia; the exclusive travel agent event for 2014 is scheduled for?Istanbul, Turkey.
- Pacific “Up and Coming”:??New Zealand?(30.1%), Tahiti (16.9%),?Fiji?(13.0%),?Bora Bora?(11.5%), and?Australia??Queensland?(5.9%).??New Zealand?continues to capture the public imagination through high profile films like this year’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” It should also be noted that if?Australia?wasn’t broken out by state, it would be second behind?New Zealand?with 18.1%.
- Asia/Southeast Asia “Up and Coming”:?Vietnam?(38.0%),?Burma/Myanmar?(11.9%),?Maldives?(11.4%),?Seychelles(8.6%), and?Indonesia?(7.4%).?Last year the list, in order, was:?Vietnam,?Indonesia,?Burma/Myanmar,?Cambodia, andMalaysia.
- Central/South America “Up and Coming”:?Peru?(17.6%),?Brazil?(16.8%),?Panama?(16.3%),?Ecuador?and Galapagos Islands (16.0%), and?Argentina?(12.2%).?Peru?is increasingly on more “bucket lists” thanks to Machu Picchu, while?Brazil?is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Top Destinations: U.S. and International Based on Actual 2014 Bookings:
The following lists display the top domestic and international destinations for 2014 (agents were asked to name up to five top destinations they’re already booking for 2014).
|Rank||2014 Top Domestic Destinations||Rank ’13|
|1||Las Vegas, NV||41.5%||2|
|3||Maui, HI||39.7%||3 (tie)|
|4||Cruise – Alaska||38.3%||3 (tie)|
|5||New York City, NY||33.7%||5|
|7||San Francisco, CA||15.6%||7|
|8||Fort Lauderdale, FL||13.1%||11|
|9||Cruise ? Hawaii||12.9%||12|
|10||Los Angeles, CA||12.8%||10|
|Rank||2014 Top International Destinations||Rank ’13|
|1||CRUISE – Caribbean||43.5%||1|
|3||CRUISE – Europe (Mediterranean)||26.7%||3|
|5||CRUISE – Europe (River)||21.9%||8|
|7||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||18.1%||6|
|8||Paris, France||16.3%||9 (tie)|
|9||Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico||15.6%||7|
|10||Montego Bay, Jamaica||12.6%||9 (tie)|
Personal Favorite Destinations of Travel Experts:
As travel experts, those participating in the survey have a multitude of experience based on their own personal travel.? So, we also asked our Travel Leaders Group agents to identify their top?personal?favorite domestic and international destinations?
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