Published on : Friday, December 21, 2018
As per a recent survey carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), the tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) named Italy as the most popular or “hot” destination for travelers in 2019.
The top 10 “hot” destinations for next year also included Iceland, which ranked second, followed by Japan, Vietnam, Australia, France, Spain, Colombia, Cambodia and Portugal.
USTOA tour operator members also named their top 10 off-the-beaten path or emerging destinations that are expected to gain popularity in 2019: Iceland ranked first, Cambodia ranked second, followed by Croatia, Colombia, Vietnam, Portugal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Myanmar, and Ethiopia.
To quote Terry Dale, the President and CEO of USTOA, “It’s interesting see five destinations – Iceland, Cambodia, Colombia, Vietnam and Portugal – appear on both the hot destinations and emerging destinations lists. This tells us that off-the-beaten path travel experiences continue to grow in popularity amongst travelers.”
Immersive, culturally rich travel programs continue to stay on high demand.
Based on the study, the tour operator members of USTOA aim to close out 2018 with sales reaching $18.7 billion dollars, representing 9.8 million individual travelers. The member operators are also extremely confident about business in the year ahead: 100% of responding tour operator members anticipates growth in sales in 2019.
While the Active Members of USTOA view the upcoming year with optimism, they also addressed the global risks that could impact the industry during the next three years.
Terrorism topped the list with 17% of members saying that they are “extremely concerned.”
Political instability and over tourism, a new category this year, were the next two global risks that members were “extremely concerned” about, as cited by 13% of survey respondents.