A new Travel Leaders Group survey shows that Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada top travelers' international wish list for future travel, followed by Italy, Greece and Ireland. European and Caribbean cruising also ranked in the top 10.
According to the survey, 95 percent of approximately 2,000 respondents plan to travel in 2020, and the majority (52 percent) plan on spending more money on travel next year than they did in 2019.
"Australia is on everyone's bucket list, and a favorable exchange rate makes travel to the U.K. attractive, so we're not surprised to see these two destinations take the top spots on this year's consumer travel wish list," said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko in a written statement. "Canada is also becoming increasingly popular for adventure travel and its natural beauty."
Interest in cruising remains extremely strong with cruising taking three of the top 10 spots on the traveler wish list, Chacko said.
The top international destinations consumers are most interested in traveling to in 2020 are:
2. United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales)
7. European River Cruises
8. Caribbean Cruises
9. French Polynesia
10. Mediterranean Cruises
While consumers may dream of traveling to new places in the future, the actual top international destinations where they have already begun planning to travel to in 2020 are:
1. The Caribbean
2. Western Europe
4. United Kingdom and/or Ireland
5. Eastern Europe (tie)
5. Canada (tie)
Topping the traveler wish list of U.S. destinations for consumers are Hawaii, followed by California and Alaska. The full top 10 in order is:
6. New York
10. Washington D.C.
"Travelers continue to express interest in solo trips. There are growing options offered by travel suppliers for individuals who enjoy traveling on their own," continued Chacko. "We see more cruise companies offering single fares and more tour operators developing programs to entice solo travelers with special interests."
Among solo travelers, the top five U.S. destinations they are most interested in traveling to in 2020 are:
1. Florida (tie)
1. California (tie)
3. New York
For solo travelers, the top five international regions they are most interested in traveling to in 2020 are:
2. United Kingdom
Chacko also noted that the trend toward experiential travel continues with vacation-goers seeking authentic encounters in the destinations they visit involving food, culture, nature and active adventure. "We see a strong correlation between a strong economy and low unemployment rates with increased consumer interest in discovering a destination and a willingness to spend on immersive experiences and luxury accommodations."
According to the survey, the top five most important elements when choosing a destination are: Cultural (65 percent), Nature/Outdoors (49 percent), Beach/Pool (40 percent), Active Adventure (38 percent) and Culinary (34 percent). Special sites/attractions (59 percent) are one of the most remembered elements of a vacation after spectacular scenery (80 percent). And when it comes to spending, North Americans are most likely to splurge on sightseeing/tours (74 percent), special meals at restaurants (51 percent) and luxury accommodations (35 percent).
The Travel Leaders Group consumer travel trends survey was conducted between October and November 2019 among approximately 2,000 consumers.