USTOA Names Top Destinations for 2016

Cuba, Italy and more top the list of emerging, domestic and international destinations By: Mindy Poder
USTOA considers Peru a top international destination for 2016. // © 2015 iStock
USTOA considers Peru a top international destination for 2016. // © 2015 iStock

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The Details

U.S. Tour Operators Association

International destinations that are topping the U.S. Tour Operators Association’s (USTOA) annual survey for 2016 include Italy, the U.K., China/France/South Africa, Peru and India. For domestic destinations, New York tied California for first place and Arizona tied Hawaii for second place, followed by Nevada, Florida/Washington, D.C. and Alaska. Top emerging destinations include Cuba, Myanmar, Iceland, Colombia and Ethiopia/Japan.

Why It Matters:
Nearly the entire world is represented, showing travelers’ desire to explore. Some countries indicate a rebound to come: Japan is considered a “reemerging” destination, with signs hopeful after a relatively quiet period. During the USTOA conference, there was buzz about South America — represented here with Peru and Colombia. Cuba was also named the top travel trend by 43 percent of USTOA members. More than half of members (58 percent) plan to increase Cuba offerings in the next few years, and 34 percent offer Cuba now.

Fast Facts:
- Seventy-six percent of USTOA members participated in the survey

- Italy topped the list as most popular international destination for the fourth year in a row. 

- Participating members named art and culture; honeymoon and romance; and family as the most popular travel categories for guests.

What They’re Saying:
“With Cuba making headlines this year, it’s no surprise that it took the first spot in the list of emerging destinations,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA.