This week, Virtuoso®, luxury travel industry's leading travel network, released their Virtuoso Luxe Report, forecasting relevant travel trends, based on travel decisions and other motivating factors for upscale 2011 travel.
The year of 2011 may mark the end of the "staycation", the popular vacation where individuals, couples and families stayed in one place during their whole trip. According to Virtuoso®, travelers are once again desirous of multi-destination exploration. Indeed, Virtuoso® says its clientele increased their travel purchases by 36 percent from 2009 to 2010, with luxury international leisure trips being the dominant choice.
This year's report shows international travel is slated to be the most popular type of trip in 2011, with 57 percent of respondents reporting clients reserving international trips of eight days or longer. Italy, France and South Africa are the three most popular international destinations for travelers in 2011, followed by Australia and Mexico. Vietnam took the front-running spot as the most popular emerging destination – a position previously occupied by India, which instead became the second most popular emerging destination; followed by China, the Galapagos Islands and Morocco.
For families traveling in 2011, Europe is also in position to be the most popular destination, continuing to support data that international travel is on the rise. Italy and England were ranked the two most popular family travel destinations for this year. Also included were trips to Hawaii and Costa Rica, followed by Alaska.
Interestingly, the survey reported that family and multi-generational travel is the biggest emerging travel trend for 2011. Additionally, the survey found that more travelers are including infants and toddlers in their trip planning. Of those booking travel, the top three motives influencing travel choices included: seeking authentic experiences in new destinations; rest and relaxation; and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones – further supporting the reasons for the increased interest in family travel.
"The Luxe Report findings offer great insight into the mindset of the upscale traveler and predict the trends in luxury-focused, leisure travel for 2011," said Virtuoso CEO, Matthew D. Upchurch. "A strong return to international travel indicates a certain level of economic recovery, as does the increase in families traveling together"
Here are more results of the Virtuoso Luxe survey: