Travel advisors say their clients are choosing vacations that virtually blanket the globe this year, including a mix of European and exotic destinations, cruises, active adventures and romance trips.
“Business looks great for 2023,” said Jennifer Doncsecz president of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based VIP Vacations. “We are optimistic that the honeymoon and destination wedding space will continue to grow.”
Added Sarah Kline, president of Time For Travel in Davidson, Maryland, “I do large groups and destination weddings and we are already heavily booking into 2024. Honestly, my 2023 is already in wrap-up mode.”
In addition to honeymoon and destination weddings, Doncsecz said that “Europe – especially Italy – and cruises” are booking briskly.
“We’re seeing longer cruises being booked and a lot of interest in Europe for 2023,” said Chris Caulfield, owner of a CruiseOne agency in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. “Alaska is always a popular choice among all the destinations people are considering.”
Another cruise specialist, James Ferguson, an independent contractor with TravelEdge based in La Jolla, California, said he is selling more multigenerational cruises, especially from U.S. and Canadian ports. “In addition to multigenerational family gatherings at sea, longer voyages to Alaska, Iceland/Scandinavia and the British Isles remain front-of-mind,” he said.
Holly Lombardo, owner of Holly Lombardo Travel in Atlanta, also said that Europe is hot, along with cruises and ski vacations. “And of course, with the chill in the air, the Caribbean and Mexico” are selling quite well, she said.
Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel in Palm Harbor, Florida, said her clients are booking Europe in great numbers with the most popular destinations including Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
“Independent FIT vacations to Europe and Asia are really very popular, and most of those requests are small groups of about six to 10 people,” said Tom Karnes, owner of LaMacchia Travel in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “Multigenerational travel is also increasing dramatically, not just cruises or sun-and-fun destinations,” he said, with a heavy focus on central Europe.
Claire Schoeder, and independent contractor with Atlanta-based Elevations Travel, said she is booking more adventure/active travel than ever before. “Many of my clients are looking for more immersive experiences,” she said. “Small ship luxury cruising is also selling very well.”
“Bucket lists are now being served up on the front burner and eagerly consumed,” said Richard Turen, managing director of Naperville, Illinois-based Churchill & Turen.
“Average vacation length has increased by four nights. Exotic touring and longer cruises are leading the charge, but close behind are long-delayed family vacations.”
When asked if he was optimistic about the year ahead, Turen had this to say: “The data is in and ‘strength’ is a foregone conclusion. Will space still be available on programs in Japan, Antarctica, Iceland, East and Southern Africa – these are the new consumer concerns.”
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