Virtuoso: Uruguay, Maldives Are the Hottest Travel Spots This Fall

Latin America, the Middle East and off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe are all drawing luxury travelers this fall, according to Virtuoso’s latest research. The luxury travel network released the findings, drawn from its database of more than $49.5 billion travel transactions for the coming fall and holiday season, at Virtuoso Travel Week, which is taking place August 10-16 at Las Vegas’ Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa

Virtuoso’s Hot 10, which the organization defines as the countries that have experienced the largest increases by percentage in year-over-year bookings among U.S. travelers, are:

  1. Uruguay (+286%) 
  2. Maldives (+171%) 
  3. Malta (+140%)
  4. Romania (+135%)
  5. Egypt (+122%)
  6. Rwanda (+114%)
  7. Qatar (+101%)
  8. South Korea (+98%)
  9. Norway (+96%)
  10. Puerto Rico (+120%)

Virtuoso says that the Hot 10 shows that travelers are eager to explore new destinations, ranging from the fairy tale castles of Romania to the historic sites of Malta and the fjords of Norway. Uruguay takes the top spot for its wineries, climate and adventure opportunities, the organization says. The Middle East also remains popular, with Egypt and Qatar enticing visitors with less-explored cuisines, bustling markets, and desert excursions, while Puerto Rico and the Maldives provide beach retreats for relaxation-focused travelers.

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The Top 10 overall most popular fall destinations by U.S. future bookings are:

  1. United States
  2. Italy
  3. United Kingdom
  4. France
  5. South Africa
  6. Israel
  7. Australia
  8. Germany
  9. Japan
  10. Spain

Virtuoso notes that Americans are increasingly showing an appetite for domestic travel, while Europe’s appeal as a summer destination is extending into the fall, as it accounts for five destinations on the list. Italy, France and Germany repeat from last year; the latter is especially popular with river cruisers for its celebrated Christmas markets, Virtuoso said. Japan, which topped the list of emerging destination in the 2019 Virtuoso Luxe Report, appeals to travelers from adventurers to culinary enthusiasts. Two other fall and holiday favorites, South Africa and Israel, also repeat from last year’s list.

Data is drawn from Virtuoso’s U.S. agency members and reflects travel bookings for September through December 2019.

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