Roundtable Video: Tour Operators Share Trendiest Destinations Outside of Mexico

Since most of a recent panel discussion Travel Agent hosted at the Tianguis Turistico event in Acapulco centered around selling Mexico travel, we decided to focus one topic on the trendiest destinations outside of Mexico.

Here’s what the travel professionals we spoke with had to say.

Elizabeth Moriarty, vice president of product development for Delta Vacations, says Delta Vacations’ December debut into the Cuba market has been an instant success due in large part to operators’ and agent’s effectiveness in managing client expectations. Moriarty also says Europe has come back strong for Delta Vacations in 2017.

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Jack E. Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, notes that Iceland and Greenland have been hot for Pleasant Holidays’ cruise customers while Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been the company’s hottest luxury products in 2017.

Iceland comes as no surprise as many agents and operators we’ve spoken to recently have pointed to the destination as one of the hottest getaways for Millennials in 2017.

Moriarty says Iceland’s nature and adventure offerings especially appeal to Millennials, while safety and security are drawing other generations to the destination as well. Safety and security, Moriarty notes, are also two reasons why Ireland continues to gain momentum. Moriarty also says there is increasing interest in Cartagena, Colombia.

Mark Benson, vice president of leisure product and sales support for Flight Centre, the parent company of GOGO Vacations, also agrees that a reputation of safety and security has aided tourism in both Ireland and Iceland in 2016 and 2017. 

But while Iceland has the product to be a great cruise destination, Tim Mullen, president of Apple Vacations, contends it still doesn’t have the inventory to be a successful land option for leisure travelers.  

Europe and Asia in general continue to remain hot for Classic Vacations, says Federico Moreno-Nickerson, director of product development for the Caribbean and Mexico for Classic Vacations. As far as the lone hotelier we spoke with goes, Croatia is one of Karisma Hotels & Resorts' hottest destinations, says Rienk de Jong, director of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. As far as American Airlines Vacations goes, Panama is perhaps the hottest non-Mexican destinations, says Eduardo Marcos, president of American Airlines Vacations. 

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