|Photo by Image Source/Image Source/Getty Images|
Iceland has been ranked as the most peaceful nation according to the 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI). Together with New Zealand (GPI #4) and Portugal (GPI #5), the three countries rate the “highest level of interest” for travel among the Global Peace Index’s top performing countries, according to findings by Travel Leaders Group from a survey of its luxury travel agents to discover which countries had the most interest and appeal among their clientele.
“By comparing the top-performing countries from the Global Peace Index with our luxury travelers’ interests, we were hoping to gauge whether there is any symmetry between the two – and we discovered that in several cases, symbiotic relationships have been developed that could significantly shape our industry in the years to come,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “These particular 10 countries – which have long been a part of our overall, comprehensive list of top destinations for American travelers – may experience unprecedented growth in traveler appeal. That’s clearly been the case with Iceland, and, by all indications, New Zealand is on the cusp.”
Traveler Interest in the Global Peace Index’s Top 10
In its recent survey, Travel Leaders Group asked its luxury travel agents to identify the level of interest their most discerning clientele have in visiting the Top 10 most peaceful countries as identified in the 2016 Global Peace Index.
New Zealand was the clear leader, in terms of “highest level of interest,” followed by Iceland and Portugal. When combining all interest levels for affluent travelers, New Zealand ranked #1 again, while Switzerland was second and Iceland placed third.
|Top Ranked Peaceful Countries||High Interest||Interest||No Interest|
Expertise and Specializations
Additionally, Travel Leaders Group asked its luxury travel agents about their expertise in counseling high-end clients on these 10 destinations:
Firsthand Knowledge: An important factor for many affluent travelers is working with a professional travel consultant who has firsthand, personal experience in a particular destination.
When asked, “Have you, personally, visited any of these (10) countries in the last 5 years?” the largest percentages of Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel agents surveyed have recently visited: (1) Canada, (2) Austria, and (3) Switzerland.
Certification of Specialization: Another key indicator of expertise in a particular travel destination is extensive education and training that leads to specialization and certification.
New Zealand – Close to 17% of those surveyed consider themselves specialists based on their personal experience traveling throughout New Zealand and planning vacations for their affluent clientele. Another nearly 8% of Travel Leaders Group luxury travel agents surveyed stated they are officially 100% PURE Kiwi specialists through Tourism New Zealand’s training program.
Following New Zealand, the next leading countries for those surveyed stating they are formally certified by a governing organization were: (2) Switzerland, (3) Canada, (4) Japan and (5) Iceland.
This survey data on luxury traveler interest in the Top 10 countries on the Global Peace Index is based on responses from 785 Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel agent experts across the U.S. These findings are also part of the larger 2016 Fall Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group from July 28 - August 24, 2016. Participants in the full survey included 1,145 travel agent experts from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units.