The Top 10 Popular, Fastest-Growing Upscale Travel Destinations This Fall And Holiday Season

The Top 10 Popular, Fastest-Growing Upscale Travel Destinations This Fall And Holiday Season

Where you choose to travel varies season to season. For upscale travelers, pleasant weather from September through the festive holidays in December, make for prime-time travel, when crowds are fewer, and cultural activities rev up.

So what are the top-10 choice destinations this year?

Upscale Americans are seeking adventures in less-visited destinations from Latin America to the Middle East to off-the-beaten-path Europe this fall and holiday season, according to new data from global luxury travel network Virtuoso®.

A respected trend forecaster, the group reviewed figures from its warehouse of more than $49.5 billion in transactions to compile the most in-demand locales for the coming fall and holiday season.

The results were revealed at the 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week. Running from August 10-16 at Las Vegas’ Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa, the event is recognized as the Fashion Week of travel, where the latest news and trends affecting the industry are unveiled.


 The Virtuoso Top 10: The most popular fall and holiday destinations for Americans according to future bookings.

1. United States 2. Italy 3. United Kingdom 4. France 5. South Africa 6. Israel 7. Australia 8. Germany 9. Japan 10. Spain

The Top 10 Analysis: With such a diversity of destinations and experiences at home, Americans increasingly choose to travel domestically for the holidays. Europe’s appeal as a summer destination extends into fall, with five countries on the list. Italy, France and Germany repeat from last year; the latter is especially popular with river cruisers for its celebrated Christmas markets.

Japan topped the list of emerging destination in the 2019 Virtuoso Luxe Report, appealing to travelers from adventurers to culinary enthusiasts. Two other fall and holiday favorites, South Africa and Israel, repeat from last year’s list, beckoning families seeking trips of a lifetime at the festive season.


The Virtuoso Hot 10:

The countries that have experienced the largest increases by percentage in year-over-year bookings among U.S. travelers. 

1. Uruguay (+286%)                                                               

2. Maldives (+171%)                                                

3. Malta (+140%)                                                      

4. Romania (+135%)                                                 

5. Egypt (+122%)                                                      

6. Puerto Rico (+120%)     

7. Rwanda (+114%)

  8. Qatar (+101%)

 9. South Korea (+98%)

10. Norway (+96%)

The Hot 10 Analysis: The report determined the prevailing travel motivator for 2019 is exploring new destinations, and U.S. travelers are seeking fresh adventures amidst the fairytale castles of Romania, historic sites of Malta and fjords of Norway.

Uruguay’s award-winning wineries, pleasant climate, and adventure opportunities make it a sought-after destination for the season. The Middle East remains popular, with Egypt and Qatar enticing visitors with less-explored cuisines, bustling markets, and desert excursions, while Puerto Rico and the Maldives provide beach retreats for relaxation-focused travelers.  

Data is drawn from Virtuoso’s U.S. agency members and reflects travel bookings for September through December 2019.

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