Q&A with Travel Experts: Hottest Travel Destinations in 2017
The travel industry is rapidly changing and so are travelers needs and wants. With off-the-beaten paths and experimental travel on the rise, the top travel destinations are also changing in 2017.
We decided to sit down with some of the biggest industry experts to find out what are the hottest travel destinations in 2017? And where are people dreaming of traveling? This is what we determined:
Q: What travel destinations do you think will be the hottest for 2017? Why?
Todd Powell – Vacations By Rail CEO and Co-Founder
1. Eastern Canada: We’ve seen a 171% percent increase in Canadian rail and rail-and-drive vacation bookings over the past three years. And while the largest share of this travel continues to be to Western Canada, Eastern Canada out-paced its western counterpart’s growth in spring/summer 2016.
2. Europe: Because of the valuable exchange rate, offering extra savings to travelers. Popular destinations include UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Italy. In Europe, rail and river cruise combination packages, like Grand France, continue to gain popularity as they offer a unique way to see the continent.
3. Alaska: Denali’s 100th birthday in early 2017 is an event that makes this popular destination even more noteworthy in the New Year.
Samantha Hartman – Travel Consultant, Protravel International LLC
1. Hawaii: This will be a majoy honeymoon destination because it is Zika-free!
2. Iceland: A really hot destination at the moment. It’s off the grid and the scenery is amazing.
3. South Africa: There are so many different things to do there from safari, to city life, to wineries. Those looking for adventure, romance, and family travel will all be happy exploring this varied destination.
Mahesh Chaddah – Reservations.com Co-Founder
Reservations.com has released data showing top destinations booked for hotels and average booking rates, which have increased by 12% since last year. Top destinations consumers are traveling to include Las Vegas, New York City, and Miami.
Megan Velez, Destination Weddings Travel Group
Many brides and grooms are still flocking to tropical paradises, such as Mexico and the Bahamas, but we’re also seeing a rise in destinations that are off the beaten path. We expect to see emerging countries such as Iceland, Canada and Italy catching the interest of next year’s couples along with historic cities such as Rome and Barcelona. Not surprisingly, gorgeous scenery is a priority for most destination couples, so naturally rich and beautiful areas like Iceland and the New Zealand are hosting a number of destination weddings as well.
Eric Grayson, Founder of Discover 7 Travel
We have seen a big interest in Rwanda with people wanting to see the gorillas. Rwanda is a fascinating place. I call it the Switzerland of Africa because it is remarkably clean, the people are very friendly and polite and it has fairly modern facilities.
Mike Cleary, StudentUniverse‘s EVP
When we looked at our data, the top domestic destinations travelers are going to in 2017 are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Orlando. These destinations are consistent with 2016, except for the rise in travelers to Orlando. Washington and Miami have decreased in booking volume from 2016.
For international destinations, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo are most booked for 2017. Similar to domestic travel, these are largely consistent with 2016 except for the noted rise in popularity of Tokyo. Florence and Dublin have decreased in booking volume since 2016.
Swapnil Shinde, CEO and co-founder of personal travel concierge app, Mezi
1. Havana, Cuba: The capital city offers vibrant architecture and a peek into one of the world’s most sheltered, authentic cultures. Be sure to take a stroll down Malecón, a must-see 8km-long sea drive, which captures some of the city’s most iconic monuments.
2. Cape Town, South Africa: A destination with a rich art scene and anticipated opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art at the V&A Waterfront in 2017. Cape Town is becoming a popular destination for young newlyweds looking for legendary local fare, praised restaurants and picturesque mountain and beach views.
3. Merida, Mexico: Tourists are looking for more culture-rich destinations this year, and Merida offers some of the country’s most eclectic local music, art and live performances in Mexico.
4. Denver, Colorado: The Mile High city is perfect for activity-driven and naturalist enthusiasts alike. Visit the sprawling 23-acre oasis at the Denver Botanic Gardens before skiing the state’s treasured trails atop the nearby Rocky Mountains.
5. Vancouver, Canada: Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, celebrations will be plentiful. Vancouver is perfectly nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean offering an endless array of activities, plus a great food and hotel scene.