NEW YORK — International luxury travel network Virtuoso has revealed the hottest upscale destinations for this year’s holiday season, it was announced Aug. 9.
Virtuoso has sourced data from its warehouse of more than $35 billion in transactions to disclose the top destinations for the coming fall and holiday period. Luxury travelers are remaining true to European favorites, while turning their attention to warmer climes as the weather shifts at home. They also are seeking out more exotic locales worldwide, including a boom for African countries.
The most popular fall and holiday travel destinations based on future bookings, in descending order: Italy, France, United Kingdom, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, China, Australia, New Zealand and Israel
Europe’s unrivaled popularity for summer travel continues into the fall. Travelers are enjoying lower average daily rates (ADRs) at Virtuoso partner hotels in major European cities as summer ends. In particular, Paris is down two per cent ($1,087), Rome is six per cent lower ($949), London is down seven per cent ($704) and Barcelona comes in 15 per cent lower than summer rates ($596). London and Barcelona in particular represent excellent value to travelers this fall and holiday season, as they are respectively 21 and 43 per cent below the average ADR for Virtuoso partner properties in Europe, which is $853. Also noteworthy: Mexico’s appeal as a warm-weather getaway for Americans and Canadians holds fast, despite Zika cautions. Australia and New Zealand are always favoured destinations once the Northern Hemisphere cools. In spite of continued Middle East unrest, Israel’s popularity is undiminished. It is a sought-out destination not only for its religious significance, but also for its history, food, culture and adventure experiences.
In terms of emerging destinations that have experienced strong growth, Africa continues to surge in popularity, a continuation of the trend Virtuoso noted for summer travel. With sales up 28 per cent year over year, Africa is the only continent to post such an increase. Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, all strong safari destinations, will benefit from a projected 17 per cent increase.