Summer is here, and all indications are that 2023 will see record numbers of travelers hitting the roads and skies. Where are they going? Luxury and experiential travel specialist Virtuoso has the answers.
Based on analysis of bookings, Virtuoso has revealed top vacation destinations and found that affluent globe trotters are spending big on luxury hotels and experiences for the summer season and beyond.
The Virtuoso Top 10: The most popular destinations for summer travel based on bookings.
- United States
- United Kingdom
While the US is still the top summer destination for Virtuoso travelers, the company says it is seeing a shift, with US travel down 12% compared to last summer.
Next in line are the big three European destinations of Italy, France and Spain, followed by Canada in fifth place. The bottom half of the top 10 including the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal.
While Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Portugal are perennial favourites, Virtuoso says travelers are venturing beyond marquee destinations to discover more off-the-beaten-track spots, including the surf town of Biarritz, France, the wine region of Rioja, and Spain the the small town of Elounda on the Greek island of Crete.
In a sign of travel’s continued rebound, bookings for 2023 are 91% higher than they were in 2019, which was a banner year for travel, and 62% higher than 2022.
Virtuoso says its partner hotels are experiencing extremely high demand, with bookings 193% higher than in 2019 and 77% up in 2022. Hotel average daily rates (ADRs) continue to soar, with summer 2023 rates averaging nearly US$1,700 per night (69% more than in 2019).
Cruising is also showing significant growth in the affluent segment, with bookings 55% higher compared to 2019.
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