From top destination reports by Virtuoso and Amex to an analysis of the summer road trip market, this week in travel stats provided a comprehensive look at what to expect from the industry this summer.
Europe Tops Summer Destinations, But Australia and China Growing Fast
While well-heeled travelers are still headed to Europe this summer, Australia and China are growing rapidly, according to data from Virtuoso. Here's a look at the top luxury destinations for the organization.
While Europe continues to dominate the list of favored destinations, the network's overall sales to Europe are slightly down by four percent when compared to the same timeframe in 2014. That said, the United Kingdom maintains its stronghold as the number one spot for travelers. Bookings for Spain are up four percent and Germany is seeing a seven percent increase, most likely driven by their relative value.
In terms of rapidly growing destinations, Australia leads the chart with triple-digit growth, indicating that winter travel to Down Under is gaining in popularity. China trailed closely behind, largely thanks to Hong Kong which accounts for almost half of its air traffic. This year, Ecuador became the fastest growing destination – as well as the most popular – in South America.
Iceland, Japan Top Amex's Hottest Summer Destinations
Also this week, American Express Travel released its own list of the most popular travel destinations for the season, as well as the latest trends American Express Travel Counselors are witnessing.
The company has also released key insights from its team of travel counselors:
Longer Babymoons: So long are the days when couples would escape for a weekend to the Caribbean before welcoming their bundle of joy. Travel Counselors note that expecting duos are now traveling farther - and longer - to relax and renew before the arrival of their little one(s).
Move over, Disney: Travel Counselors report that families are expanding beyond the usual visit to Mickey and Minnie for other experiences in the U.S. and abroad. From exploring the coastal regions of California and wildlife spotting in Jackson Hole, WY, to enjoying pizza- and gelato-making classes in Italy, traveling broods are venturing farther and discovering new things and places. Not all families are looking for structure; they look forward to discovering hidden gems during their travels.
65 Percent More Likely to Take Road Trip This Summer
Finally, Travelocity released a report on a common bellwether of summer travel: the post-Memorial Day road trip. According to a recent Travelocity survey of 1000 Americans, 65 percent of those polled stated that they were more likely to take a road trip this summer compared to last summer.
While it's clear that low fuel prices are likely driving Americans to take more road trips, Travelocity's survey also looked at why road trips are still popular when it comes to travel.
While the majority of those surveyed replied that the destination is what they most look forward to, a full one-third of those polled felt that the best part of a road trip is the journey itself. This sentiment was echoed by a number of Travelocity customers who were asked what they loved most about going on road trips. According to one veteran Travelocity customer, sharing and enjoying their favorite music on the road by "making road trip mixes" is the best part of a road trip, while another noted that it is "…fun to pull over to random roadside attractions. Those usually create long lasting memories and stories that will forever commemorate the trip."
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