Last updated: 01:11 PM ET, Wed August 12 2015

Italy, Vietnam Are Tops for Virtuoso Luxury Travelers This Fall

Host Agency & Consortia | James Shillinglaw | August 12, 2015

Italy, Vietnam Are Tops for Virtuoso Luxury Travelers This Fall

PHOTO: Italy is being booked the most by Virtuoso’s luxury travelers this fall. (Photo by James Shillinglaw)

Luxury travel network Virtuoso, which is holding its 27th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference in Las Vegas this week, has named its top destinations for fall travel, as well as what it calls its “hot” destinations, those places that are on the fast track among luxury travelers.

The most popular destinations for fall leisure travel based on future bookings are: 1) Italy, 2) Mexico, 3) United Kingdom, 4) South Africa, 5) Australia, 6) New Zealand, 7) France, 8) China, 9) Germany and 10) Canada.

According to Virtuoso, Europe continues to dominate the list of top destinations, thanks in large part to better exchange rate between the euro and the dollar. Italy has supplanted the U.K., the summer’s top destination for Virtuoso travelers, for the fall. And with a 34 percent increase in air bookings alone, Canada is the fastest growing of the Top 10 Destinations.

Those countries seeing the biggest jump in year-over-year bookings for the fall include: 1) Vietnam (up 270 percent), 2) India (up 212 percent), 3) French Polynesia (up 91 percent), 4) Spain (up 53 percent), 5) Argentina (up 46 percent), 6) Canada (up 34 percent), 7) U.S. Virgin Islands (up 32 percent), 8) Peru (up 28 percent), 9) Costa Rica (up 27 percent) and 10) Netherlands (up 25 percent).

According to Virtuoso, fall travelers are seeking the cultural appeal, favorable climate and relative value of Vietnam and India, which are both seeing major increases in future bookings. European countries like Spain and the Netherlands are seeing substantial increases in bookings by Virtuoso travelers as well, once again aided by the favorable exchange rate between the dollar and euro, while those looking for South America destinations are increasing bookings to Argentina and Peru.  And popular sun destinations like French Polynesia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Costa Rica are seeing growth as well.

Beyond destinations, Virtuoso reports luxury yacht cruising is seeing some of the strongest growth, up 15 percent when compared to last year, though that is topped by expedition cruising, up 41 percent. Ocean cruising is up 12 percent this fall over last year.

Data for the quarterly survey is sourced from Virtuoso’s United States- and Canadian-based travel agency members. Virtuoso bases these results on its proprietary data warehouse of more than $35 billion in transactions.

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