Agents Reveal the Hottest Travel Trends, Destinations Heading into 2020

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Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 4:00 PM ET, Sun November 24, 2019

The Latest Trends, According to Agents

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Taking your travel business to the next level starts with understanding what your clients want. A recent survey of more than 300 travel agents sponsored by Apple Leisure Group (ALG) in conjunction with travAlliancemedia sheds new light on the destinations, brands and experiences that travelers are seeking in 2020.

Adventure Travel

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Many agents report seeing a rise in client interest in adventure travel, with more than a few pointing out a jump in adventure cruise bookings for the year ahead. Abercrombie & Kent is one such company guaranteed to fulfill thrill-seeking clients' desires whether they covet nature and wildlife or bucket-list experiences.

European Cruises

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Cruising will remain a key source of many travel agents' business in the new year but now more than ever travelers have their sights set on Europe, whether its a charming river cruise allowing them to experience multiple destinations for less money and in less time or a Scandinavian or Mediterranean sailing showcasing extraordinary scenery, wildlife and one-of-a-kind experiences like the northern lights. "European cruises are hot for next year and I have more bookings for 2020 than I've ever had on the books in 32 years of business," said one travel agent. AmaWaterways and Viking Cruises are just two excellent options for clients looking into European sailings next year.

Mexico and AMResorts

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"Mexico and the Caribbean are always hot destinations for us. AMResorts have really started to take charge in the market. Our customers love historical adventures and foodie experiences," said one travel agent. Another added that "2020 is looking amazing and all-inclusive resorts in Mexico are hot." Several agents specifically mentioned destinations such as Cancun and Cabo, with one calling the latter a "go-to destination."

Jamaica and the Caribbean

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As one agent mentioned, the Caribbean is always a hot destination and that won't change in 2020 as several agents polled reported a surge in bookings for places like Aruba, Jamaica and St. Lucia, among other destinations. With Atlantic hurricane season in the books and cold temperatures beginning to bear down on most parts of the U.S., you can bet clients will be eyeing a Caribbean getaway in the new year.

Dominican Republic

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Following months of sensational and in some cases poorly-researched news reports suggesting a nationwide conspiracy to harm American tourists, the Dominican Republic is bouncing back and poised to re-emerge as a premier vacation destination in 2020. "The DR is always looking good, especially Punta Cana. I normally use Majestic Resorts. I have many repeat clients that stay with them. Also, Excellence is a top seller. 2020 is looking much better so far than 2019," said one travel agent. Another agent said that "the DR is making a comeback" along with the Club Med brand.

The Maldives

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More and more travelers are also expressing interest in the Maldives, a South Asian destination offering luxe resorts, stunning beaches and exciting activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. "Hot destination: The Maldives. 2020 Forecast is 12-19 percent higher in revenue than 2019. Thirty-two percent increase in groups," a travel agent said.

Hawaii and Las Vegas

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Domestically, many agents are seeing an uptick in interest for Hawaii, a faraway destination that doesn't require a passport for Americans. What's more, Southwest Airlines launched flights to the Aloha State earlier this year, making the islands more accessible than ever before. Hawaii also offers visitors a range of experiences, from world-class shopping and beaches to adrenaline-pumping hiking, scuba diving and other adventures. Elsewhere in the U.S., ever-evolving Las Vegas is generating interest among today's travelers.

A recent survey of travel agents reveals the places and types of travel gaining momentum heading into the new year.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me