With the year winding down, American Express Travel is looking ahead to 2019 with its newly released list of Trending Destinations for the year to come. Travel Agent spoke with Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel, for an inside look at the list.
“I think this year it’s about seeking experiences – our customers are passionate for discovery in unconventional destinations,” Hendley said of this year’s destinations, which are:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Doha, Qatar
- Hamburg, Germany
- Marrakech, Morocco
- New Zealand
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Savannah, Georgia, USA
- Tuscany, Italy
- Washington DC, USA
“There’s something for everybody here, from the intrepid solo traveler to a family,” Hendley said of this year’s diverse list of destinations. For example, the Bahamas is a good fit for families looking for a beach getaway because of its relatively easy air access, while destinations like Washington, DC, offer a chance to explore the history and culture of the United States.
For luxury travelers, look to the more unconventional destinations on this year’s list. “Hamburg is not the place I would have thought of, but when I dove into it a little more I started to see why it’s changing,” said Hendley. “They have opened a beautiful new concert hall there, so it’s in the spotlight for music lovers worldwide.”
Also popular with the luxury market is Singapore, particularly with this year’s popular movie Crazy Rich Asians, Hendley said. Doha, too, is drawing interest with a number of new luxury hotels.
Other additions to this year’s list Hendley describes as “heartwarming.”
“Barcelona is beautiful – it’s known for its art and architecture, but we’re encouraging our customers to get out and about, and go to some of the family-run vineyards, taste some of the local foods,” said Hendley. “Italy is always a favorite, but what we’re hearing is that people are now going into the mountains, looking at the olive groves and vineyards.”
New Zealand, too, is nice to see on the list, Hendley said. “It’s far for most people, but it’s spectacular,” Hendley said.