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Monday, December 17, 2012

Virtuoso’s Luxe Report Reveals 2013 Top Destinations, Key Trends

Australia on the 2013 Luxe List
By Mimi Kmet/Travelpulse

* Australia on the favourite list, Italy tops
* Baby boomers continue to drive sales
* Myanmar, Bhutan and Chile top emerging destinations

Virtuoso has released its annual Luxe Report, revealing the top destinations and other key trends for 2013, based on a survey of its luxury travel advisers. Among the findings: Myanmar, Bhutan and Chile debuted on the “most popular emerging destinations” list, and Cuba and Vietnam maintained their respective places among the top five emerging locations in the world.

As baby boomers continue to drive travel sales, and the desire to spend time with loved ones prominently factoring into decisions, the top and recurring trend for the upcoming year is multigenerational family travel. In addition, ocean cruising is predicted to have renewed strength in 2013, with the Baltic Region making debuting on the list, along with perennial favorites like Alaska, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. River cruising continues to grow, especially in Europe; and the addition of new routes throughout Asia will bolster its popularity in the coming year

Italy continues to top the list as a favorite international destination 2013, followed by South Africa, France and Australia. This year, Latin America emerges, with Argentina making the list for the first time. The biggest change from 2012 to 2013 is within the U.S. travel market. Napa Valley/Sonoma claim the top spot as the most sought after U.S. destination, bumping Maui and New York from these positions. While Las Vegas remains on the list, the city now shares fourth place with Alaska.

For families traveling in 2013, Italy remains at the top of the destination list, with Costa Rica moving up in popularity to join England. New to the list of top family destinations is Mexico, in fourth place. France, the Galapagos Islands and Turks & Caicos tie for fifth place. The most popular destinations for romantic travel continue to be Italy, French Polynesia, France, and Bali. This year, Fiji joins the list of exotic locations.

As in previous reports, the motivations behind high-end travel continue to be seeking authentic experiences in new destinations, rest and relaxation, personal enrichment, seeking adventure, and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones.

“The multi-faceted Virtuoso traveler wants to reconnect with loved ones, explore new destinations, and seek out opportunities for personal growth,” said Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch, CTC.

The 2013 Luxe Report also predicts that there will be a rise in longer trips (eight days and longer) to international destinations and suggests that, when necessary, travelers are willing to book lower room categories in order to stay in nicer hotels. Travel advisors continue to be the lead influencer in determining travel decisions, followed closely by input from friends and family. Meanwhile, Business Class is still the preferred way to fly, with Economy Plus gaining in popularity.

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