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What:According to Virtuoso data from more than $32 billion in transactions, international travel is up 21 percent and travel to the 10 most popular destinations are averaging an 18 percent uptick.
Why It Matters:Italy, the United Kingdom and France topped the list, but according to Virtuoso, clients are looking to explore these places in a new way, such as visiting lesser-known sites and absorbing more of the local culture. Greece, the Netherlands and South Africa made the list this year, suggesting a trend that travelers are on a hunt to “collect countries.”
Fast Facts:- According to Virtuoso, consumers want to travel to connect with their love ones and to supplement traditional education for their children.
- Virtuoso has termed this travel philosophy as “Journey to Global Citizenship.”
- New Zealand, Chile, Indonesia, Hungary and Hong Kong are the top five destinations on Virtuoso’s Hot List.
- Virtuoso counts 340 agencies with more than 620 locations throughout North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand among its membership.
- Virtuoso’s travel advisors boast more than $12.5 billion in sales annually.
What They Are Saying:“There is a race towards trying to get to some of the more pristine places because of the rise in mass tourism and globalization,” said Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso. “The opening up of some of the new, non-traditional destinations that we’ve identified, offer even more incentive for travelers to explore.”