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Top Travel Trends in 2020

Welcome back to Philip James Travel!

Well here we are on the cusp of carnival season’s peak, and for those of us in south Louisiana, we’re also approaching our second “new year”.  For a lot of us, it just doesn’t feel like the new year really kicks in until Ash Wednesday.  Carnival can be all-consuming for some, it can be a fun distraction for others, while for yet others, it’s a downright nuisance to be avoided at all costs.  And for some, who take advantage of the school break that accompanies Mardi Gras, it is a golden opportunity to travel.  Though a lot of folks go skiing, and a probably, even more, go to Disney, the absolute benefit of traveling in February is that almost universally it is an off-peak time of year everywhere, meaning that better values are to be had, and fewer crowds.  So where will you go?

It’s a little late now to plan a big trip for next week, but there’s always next year, and in the world of travel it’s rarely too early to start the planning and booking process for a nice trip.  As food for thought (and travel dreams) I was recently reading that the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) announced the results of its annual travel trend and forecast survey. The association found that roughly 82 percent of their members anticipate a growth in sales for 2020.  This is actually somewhat surprising and particularly encouraging, especially as we’re in an election year, when historically-speaking, consumer spending on travel tends to be more conservative.

When it comes to top travel trends, here are the trends for 2020:

Most Popular Destination: Italy

Top Emerging Destinations: Egypt, Croatia, and Colombia, Slovenia, Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ethiopia.  This is great news and quite a turnaround for Egypt.

“Hot” Destinations for 2020: France, Spain, Greece, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, and South Africa.  No surprises here, and hence the notion to book early!

Domestic top Destinations: California followed by New York, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.  Speaking of Hawaii, it’s on my short-term bucket list…. How about you?

USTOA members were also asked which destinations clients should see now before climate change, overcrowding or other factors changed the experience and the list included Antarctica, Machu Picchu, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Venice, Italy.

And how is it that travelers like best to see the world?  Local immersion, small groups, small ships, and uncharted destinations were named by USOTA Active Members as the top three travel trends projected to grow the most over the next five years.

Thanks for having a look this week at my travel thoughts.  Won’t you please give me a call if you’d like to discuss how to turn any of the great places into a fabulous vacation in 2020?

Philip -


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