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Saturday, December 20, 2014

2015 Travel Trends - Alaska Cruises Named as Top U.S. Destination

2015 Travel Trends - Alaska Cruises Named as Top U.S. Destination

Travel Leaders Group “2015 Travel Trends Survey”: Alaska Cruises Named as Top U.S. “Destination” for 2015
Strong Europe interest is led by London and European river cruises; “up-and-coming” destinations include Cuba; and vacation spending will increase.
(December 18, 2014) – Today, Travel Leaders Group unveiled the 2015 results of its authoritative annual Travel Trends Survey.  Based on the findings, there is a major shake-up among the most popular U.S. destinations heading into the New Year – the rugged and untamed beauty of Alaska, enjoyed via cruising, has dethroned Las Vegas and stands at #1 in an extremely tight contest that also includes Orlando, Maui, and New York City.  The single, hottest destination trend in travel last year – European river cruising – jumps up another spot in 2015 to #4 on the Top International Destinations list, just behind Caribbean cruising, Cancun (Mexico) and London, respectively. This year’s survey results also reveal that 96.5% of travel agents surveyed state client spending will be the same or higher in the coming year and 85% of agents indicate that 2015 bookings are on par or greater than this time one year ago.
Below are some of the top findings from this year’s Travel Leaders Group Travel Trends Survey including: top international and domestic destinations, “up and coming” destinations, travel spending data, and more.
Top Destinations: U.S. and International Based on Actual 2015 Bookings:
The following lists display the top domestic and international destinations for 2015, along with rankings from the 2014 survey conducted one year ago (agents were asked to name up to five top destinations they’re already booking for 2015):
Rank 2015 Top Domestic Destinations
2015%
Rank '14
1
CRUISE – Alaska
33.56%
4
2
Orlando, FL
33.22%
2
3
Maui, HI
32.55%
3
4
New York City, NY
32.13%
5
5
Las Vegas, NV
29.61%
1
6
Honolulu, HI
20.97%
6
7
San Francisco, CA
16.36%
7
8
Chicago, IL
15.44%
11
9
Los Angeles, CA
15.18%
10
10
Washington, D.C.
12.67%
12 (tie)

Rank
2015 Top International Destinations
2015%
Rank '14
1
CRUISE – Caribbean
37.5%
1
2
Cancun, Mexico
31.8%
2
3
London, England
27.6%
6
4
CRUISE – Europe (River)
25.1%
5
5
Rome, Italy
21.3%
4
6
CRUISE – Europe (Mediterranean)
20.6%
3
7
Paris, France
19.0%
8
8
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
15.7%
7
9
Montego Bay, Jamaica
13.5%
10
10
Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico
11.0%
9

Travel Spending in 2015:
Based on bookings-to-date for 2015 and conversations with clients, 96.5% of Travel Leaders Group agents surveyed say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2015. That is up over the responses for 2014 (94.0%), 2013 (92.2%) and 2012 (91.3%).
 
2015
2014
2013
Spending MORE per trip than the previous year
53.2%
52.6%
53.1%
Spending THE SAME per trip as the previous year
43.3%
41.4%
39.1%
Spending LESS per trip than the previous year
3.5%
6.0%
7.8%
Top “Up and Coming” International Destinations:
When asked for their expert findings, Travel Leaders Group agents nationally indicate the following as the “up and coming” international destinations within Europe, the Pacific, Africa, Asia/Southeast Asia and Central/South America.
  • Europe “Up and Coming”: Croatia (25.2%), Greek Islands (21.0%), Iceland (17.8%), Czech Republic (10.3%), Portugal (8.8%). Last year the top up and coming destinations in this category were: Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Czech Republic and Portugal, respectively. 
  • Pacific “Up and Coming”:  New Zealand (30.4%), Bora Bora (11.3%), Tahiti (11.3%), Fiji (9.8%), and Bali (7.2%). Last year, the top up and coming destinations in this category were: New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora, and Australia – Queensland.  It should also be noted that if Australia wasn’t broken out by state, it would be second behind New Zealand with 20.7%.
  • Africa “Up and Coming”:  South Africa (41.0%), Kenya (11.2%), Morocco (10.6%), Seychelles (9.1%), and Tanzania (9.0%). Previously, there was no category for up and coming destinations in Africa, so Seychelles was grouped into Asia/Southeast Asia. In 2015, Morocco will be the host destinations for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Destination Expo.
  • Asia/Southeast Asia “Up and Coming”: Vietnam (27.5%), Thailand (22.8%), Burma/Myanmar (11.2%), Maldives (9.3%), Cambodia (5.2%), and Philippines (5.2%). Last year, the top up and coming destinations in this category were: Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar, Maldives, Seychelles, and Indonesia.
  • Central/South America “Up and Coming”: Costa Rica (30.5%), Peru (11.2%), Ecuador and Galapagos Islands (10.2%), Cuba (9.4%), and Belize (7.9%).  Licensed American travelers currently have the limited ability to visit Cuba as part of a “people to people” educational exchange.  With the announcement on December 17, 2014, that the U.S. is normalizing relations with Cuba and reducing travel limitations, pent up demand and more ways for U.S. citizens to immerse themselves in Cuba’s history and culture will continue to boost Cuba’s placement among Travel Leaders Group’s “up and coming” destinations. Last year, the list, in order, was Peru, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands, and Argentina.
Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion in 2013. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.
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For more information about Alaska Cruises & Cruise Tours visit: www.alaskacruises-2015-2016.com
 

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