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What:The “2018 Virtuoso Luxe Report” has unveiled consumer preferences in high-end travel for the year ahead. The report reveals that cold destinations — including Iceland, Alaska, Antarctica and the Arctic — are hot; multigenerational travel continues to rise; and clients desire immersive experiences off the tourist path.
Why It Matters:Travelers are increasingly seeking experiences that foster a human connection and give them a deep dive into the culture of a destination. Virtuoso advisors report that clients are asking for everything from a MiG-29 flight in Russia to hosting a celebration in a private capsule onboard the London Eye. Now is the time for agents to demonstrate their expertise in crafting one-of-a-kind itineraries that will earn them a client’s loyalty.
Fast Facts:- The top five travel trends, respectively, are multigenerational travel; active or adventure trips; river cruising; food and wine travel; and celebration travel.
- The top five global destinations are, respectively, Italy, Iceland, South Africa, France and Australia/New Zealand (tied).
- The top five emerging destinations are, respectively, Iceland, Croatia, Japan, Cuba and Portugal.
- The top five adventure destinations are, respectively, South Africa, Iceland, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Antarctica.
- The top five millennial destinations are, respectively, Thailand, Italy, Iceland, Costa Rica and Australia/South Africa (tied).
- The top five U.S. destinations are, respectively, New York City, Maui, Miami/South Beach, Las Vegas and Napa Valley/Sonoma, Calif.
- The top five family travel destinations are, respectively, Italy; Mexico; Orlando, Fla.; Hawaii; and Costa Rica.
- The top five honeymoon destinations are, respectively, Italy, Maui, French Polynesia, the Maldives and Bali.
- The top five cruise itineraries are, respectively, the Mediterranean, Alaska, European rivers, the Caribbean and the Greek Isles.
- The top five travel motivations are, respectively, exploring new destinations; crossing off bucket-list items; seeking authentic experiences; rest and relaxation; and personal enrichment.
- Additionally, the survey finds that travelers are taking international trips of two weeks or longer, while weeklong international trips and three- to five-day domestic trips remain popular as well.
- The report also reveals that Africa is one of 2018’s top adventure destinations, and Virtuoso advisors say that clients find safaris to be an integral part of any Africa trip, particularly with wildlife preservation as a priority.