Italy Ranks High in USTOA Poll

For the eighth year in a row, the U.S. Tour Operators Association has ranked Italy the top destination for tours, vacation packages and custom travel. Australia and the U.K. tied for second place.

Italy also came in as the biggest overall destination of 2010 in USTOA's annual informal member poll. John Stachnik, USTOA Chairman, said that the company asked its membership for the best destinations in a variety of categories. "Italy placed first for architecture, walking, romance, and culinary/wine experience."

Hottest up and coming, Best Dollar Value

Peru placed as hottest up and coming destination. Latin America and the Eastern Mediterranean respectively were voted top regions for dollar value, with Turkey and Egypt tying for first place. Other countries cited as good dollar values were Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and the U.S.

Hottest Trends
The survey also revealed that individualized and customized vacation experiences are the hottest vacation trends, followed closely by shorter trips and travelers searching for the best value. Other trends are family and multigenerational trips, more last-minute bookings, and river cruising vacations.

The survey revealed that, even though travelers are price conscious, they nevertheless are looking for more unique experiences. As for destinations, members reported that Europe continues to be strong for 2011.

The survey was based on responses from a total of 66 USTOA member companies and brands.

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