Summer travel season is almost upon us, and this year luxury travelers are flocking both to eternally popular destinations as well as more unusual locales flung far and wide.
Virtuoso has released two lists of destinations trending strongly for 2014: one of the destinations that have grown most strongly from last year to this year; and one of the strongest overall sellers for summer travel. The data for the list comes from first-quarter air and hotel bookings from Virtuoso travel agencies.
Europe: Forever Fashionable
European favorites topped the list of those countries experiencing the strongest year-over-year sales for January to March 2014:
- The top five countries – United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and Italy – lead sales with a 21 percent uptick.
- Notable areas of growth include Germany, which is up 24 percent, and Switzerland, which experienced an overall increase of 33 percent.
- Hotels in particular enjoyed a 51 percent increase.
- Secondary European markets also saw a first-quarter lift: Greece (+69 percent), Austria (+53 percent), Czech Republic (+47 percent), Hungary (+47 percent), and Sweden (+44 percent).
- Citing 17 percent year-over-year growth for air bookings in the first quarter of the year, Virtuoso found that 44 percent of air sales occur between January and June for all of Europe.
Surprising Summer Travel Spots
Summer travel sales are even more promising to exotic destinations in places as diverse as Asia and Africa:
- Brazil (+277 percent) – Brazil leads the charge with World Cup host cities like Fortaleza seeing the greatest surge.
- Ecuador (+118 percent) – Accounting for 20 percent of air bookings to South America, it has less than five percent of the continent’s population.
- Indonesia (+82 percent) – Increased traveler interest across the islands.
- Norway (+65 percent) – Topping all other locales within Scandinavia.
- South Africa (+47 percent) – The favorite African destination, thanks in large part to Sabi Sand Game Reserve’s popularity.
Explore Your Summer Vacation Possibilities
Looking for more summer travel inspiration? At www.virtuoso.com, you can look at air, cruise, hotel and tour options for specific destinations. Or find a travel advisor who can plan a VIP experience in any of these hot summer travel destinations – or anywhere you like.