Active, adventure travel dominant trend: Virtuoso

Luxury travel agent network Virtuoso has released its annual trend report suggesting that while multigenerational family travel remains the top trend, active and adventure travel is the dominant trend predicted for all travelers in 2014, especially in more exotic destinations.

A total of 520 travel advisors from Virtuoso member travel agencies in the United States and Canada provided survey responses in October 2013.

The 2014 Luxe Report also found that the rise in longer trips (eight days and longer) to international destinations held steady from 2013, and suggests that when necessary, travelers are willing to book lower room categories to stay in nicer hotels.

The biggest change in the findings from the 2013 to 2014 report is, perhaps, the new entrants as “emerging destinations.” While Cuba remains the tourism destination most on the rise, the Galapagos Islands’ popularity is escalating once again, while Iceland and Belize cracked the top 10.

Italy continues its reign as the top destination for international travel in 2014, followed by South Africa, France and Australia. This year, New Zealand makes an appearance on the list as well. Italy remained the chart-topper for families traveling in 2014, with England, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico rounding out the list.

Within the U.S. travel market, New York reclaims the top spot, followed by Maui. Napa Valley/Sonoma was bumped to third place from a first place ranking in 2013. Las Vegas took fourth place and, for the first time, Hawaii’s Big Island joins the list.

As in past reports, the motivation behind high-end travel continues to be seeking authentic experiences, rest and relaxation and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones. Re-discovering previously visited destinations and exploring new destinations were new additions to the list this year.

The most popular honeymoon destination is a new category added this year. Italy, French Polynesia, Maui, the Maldives and St. Lucia topped the list. Not surprisingly, the list mirrored the most popular destinations for romantic travel, which continue to be Italy, French Polynesia, Bali and France. This year the Maldives joined the list of exotic locations.