Travel Leaders: Travel to Grow in 2019, Especially Active Travel

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The latest travel trends survey from Travel Leaders Group conducted among 1,000 North American travel advisors shows that active and adventure travel, along with culinary and wine-focused journeys, are currently among the most popular specialty travel choices, while Scotland and the Netherlands make an appearance among the top five up and coming European destinations.  Also, Singapore moved up a notch in popularity in the Asia/Southeast Asia category.

More than two-thirds of professional travel agents participating in the survey say consumers are spending somewhat to significantly more per trip in 2019 versus the current year and more than 90 percent feel positive or very positive about their business outlook for the coming year. The survey, conducted between September and October 2018 by Travel Leaders Group, one of North America’s largest travel agency companies, is a strong barometer of current travel trends among North American consumers.

Also notable, the survey results indicate that travel advisors are most commonly booking trips of six to seven days, followed by eight to 10 days in length. Only 1.5 percent of those surveyed indicated they primarily book trips of less than four days, demonstrating that, when consumers are investing a more significant amount of time and expense, they want the expert advice and guidance of a professional travel advisor to help ensure a smooth and fulfilling journey.

In the niche and specialty travel category, active and adventure trips topped the survey results, followed by honeymoon and destination weddings, culinary and wine, reunions and wellness. Coming in at number six was women-only journeys.

The current top international (non-cruise) destinations being sought by consumers, according to Travel Leaders Group travel advisors, are:

  1. Mexico
  2. Italy
  3. The Dominican Republic
  4. The Bahamas
  5. Jamaica

Other countries in the top 10 include Costa Rica, Australia, France, Aruba and England.

The top domestic (non-cruise) destinations are:

  1. Hawaii (including Honolulu, Kauai and Maui)
  2. Orlando
  3. Las Vegas
  4. New York
  5. Ft. Lauderdale

Rounding out the domestic top 10 were Miami, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Anchorage and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the international cruise category, the Caribbean maintained the top spot, followed by European river cruises and then Mediterranean cruises. Domestically, Alaska cruises came in first, followed by Hawaii voyages.

Other survey results include top up and coming international destinations by region:


  1. Iceland
  2. Croatia
  3. Scotland
  4. Portugal
  5. Netherlands

Central / South America

  1. Peru
  2. Panama
  3. Ecuador – Galapagos Islands
  4. Brazil
  5. Argentina

Asia / Southeast Asia

  1. Thailand
  2. Vietnam
  3. Maldives
  4. Singapore
  5. Philippines

Pacific Region

  1. Tahiti
  2. Bora Bora
  3. Fiji
  4. Moorea
  5. Cook Islands

Source: Travel Leaders Group

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