Stats: Puglia, Sicily Top Emerging Destinations for 2020

Modica Sicily Italy
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Having already announced the highest-ranking international and domestic destinations booked by its luxury leisure clients for the rest of 2019 and into 2020,  Ovation Travel Group has now shared the top “emerging” international destinations for which Ovation travel advisors have seen substantial surges in demand. Ovation advisors have experienced specific increases for two southern Italian regions—Puglia and Sicily—as well as other noteworthy spikes in interest for Croatia, Japan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Here’s what Ovation travel advisors are saying about the destinations: 

Italy’s Puglia and Sicily

“Our clients simply can’t get enough of Italy. While the country remains the premier international destination for our clientele, perhaps it should come as no surprise that they are now seeking out unique new places within Italy to experience including Puglia and Sicily,” explained Gina Gabbard, senior vice president of leisure and independent advisors, Ovation Travel Group. “Up until the last few years, most of our Italy-bound clients headed to points in the country’s north, including Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. Now, they are expanding their horizons significantly by venturing farther south to enchanting and less crowded places like Lecce and Alberobello in Puglia and Palermo and Mount Etna in Sicily.”

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“The beauty of Puglia is found in its authentic experiences. Its olive growers, vineyards and rustic landscapes make the place a true jewel,” says Andrew Steinberg, a luxury travel advisor with Ovation Travel Group in New York City. “Not yet overrun with visitors—and it’s not a stop for larger cruise ships, which can change a location due to the volume of people—Puglia still has an old world sense of history, beauty and charm, along with some of the best food and wine in the world.”

“My clients have discovered an authenticity to Sicily that they can’t find anywhere else,” says Ashley E. Diamond, a New York-based luxury travel consultant for Ovation. “In addition to its unspoiled beaches and Greek ruins, my clients love the villages dotting the island with unique local shops and restaurants.”

Croatia

“Twenty-five years ago, Croatia was a war-torn country angling for opportunities to attract travelers from the United States. Now, it has come into its own with world-class destinations, including Dubrovnik and Split, among many others,” Paul Metselaar, CEO and Chairman of Ovation Travel Group, says. “Its popularity has soared dramatically, not just because of being prominently featured on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but because it is absolutely stunning geologically with beautifully preserved medieval cities along its pristine Adriatic coast. Plus, even though it is part of the European Union, it still uses its local currency, which in turn helps keep prices more reasonable.”

“My clients love Croatia because there is so much to see and do,” says Harlee Rosenberg, travel advisor for Ovation in New York. “They also enjoy traveling to Croatia because of the great value for their dollar.”

Japan

“With the 2020 Summer Olympic Games slated to begin in Tokyo next July 24, Ovation Travel Group’s advisors are already seeing increased demand for one of Asia’s most unique island nations: Japan,” says Gabbard. “Japan offers everything from the most cutting-edge modernity to awe-inspiring ancient traditions. It is a mesmerizing destination.”

“Japan’s culture is so different and vibrant, as is its amazing cuisine,” adds New York-based Barbara Hammer, an Ovation luxury travel advisor. “My clients are especially intrigued and delighted by their traditional customs and ceremonies.”

Rwanda and Tanzania

“Within Africa, Ovation Travel Group luxury advisors have been sending clients throughout the continent in higher numbers than ever, ranging from Morocco and Egypt in the north all the way down to South Africa,” Gabbard says. “However, where we have seen the most dramatic growth recently has been in Rwanda and Tanzania. Rwanda is the perfect place to see gorillas in the wild, and Tanzania offers countless safari opportunities to see most of the other big game for which Africa is renowned.”

“Rwanda has really come into its own since the unspeakable genocide in 1994. It is perfect for anyone who wants a gorilla trekking experience,” says Judy Stein, president of The Stein Collective, an affiliate of Ovation. “While Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali serves as the gateway to gorilla trekking, it is fast becoming a destination in its own right with cultural experiences, world-class art galleries and fashion, plus it is clean and safe.” 

“So many of my clients are looking to travel to Tanzania. Witnessing the migration of its amazing wildlife is something really special to be seen,” says Hammer. “My clients are ‘wowed’ and enjoy peace-of-mind when I recommend one of Tanzania’s extremely unique, top-tier lodges, especially the Ngorongoro Crater from &Beyond, as well as Gibbs Farm outside the crater.”

This story originally appeared on www.luxurytraveladvisor.com

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