Most Popular Destinations Include Vietnam, India

This year’s most popular destinations announced at Virtuoso Travel Week By: Kenneth Shapiro
Luxury travelers are showing more interest in Vietnam. // © 2015 iStock
Luxury travelers are showing more interest in Vietnam. // © 2015 iStock

The Details

Virtuoso has debuted its annual Hot List, the fastest-growing destinations worldwide seeing the most growth in tourism, based on bookings by Virtuoso travel advisors.

Why It Matters:
Virtuoso’s lists of top destinations are based on actual transactions and are considered accurate profiles of where luxury travelers are going. This year, Vietnam showed the most growth, with a 270 percent year-over-year increase, followed by India (212 percent). Also growing are French Polynesia (91 percent), Spain (53 percent), Argentina (46 percent), Canada (34 percent), U.S. Virgin Islands (32 percent), Peru (28 percent), Costa Rica (27 percent) and the Netherlands (25 percent). The most popular destinations overall for fall travel, based on future bookings, include Italy, Mexico, the U.K., South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France, China, Germany and Canada.

Fast Facts:
- Data is sourced from Virtuoso’s United States and Canadian-based travel agency members and the network’s proprietary data warehouse of more than $35 billion in transactions.

- Europe continues to dominate the list of favored destinations, thanks in large part to the softer euro, and Italy has bypassed the summer’s top destination for Virtuoso travelers, the U.K. With a 34 percent increase in air bookings alone, Canada is the fastest growing of the Top 10 Destinations.

- This fall travelers are seeking the cultural appeal, favorable climate and relative value of Vietnam and India, and in a big way as both are seeing massive increases in future bookings. Less traditional European continues like Spain and the Netherlands are on the rise, while those looking for a seasonal switch will be heading to Argentina and Peru. And for those simply seeking sun, French Polynesia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Costa Rica are popular choices.

- More than 1.1 billion people crossed borders last year.

What They Are Saying:
“Today’s consumers purchase travel in a much more personalized way, looking for attributes in products and services that reflect who they are and the lifestyles they lead,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and CEO for Virtuoso. “They self-identify based on how they view themselves, and they have a multitude of travel personalities depending on where they are going and who is traveling with them. Our goal is to create an enriching experience every time, whether they’re traveling to someplace more known like Europe or a destination further afar like Southeast Asia.”