Recently released travel statistics by Travel Leaders Group show that the top travel trends for 2017 are European destinations with small ship cruises. Italy, Croatia and the Mediterranean are among the top five booking destinations or packages. River cruises took the lead as the top international luxury “destination” outside North America that is being booked among its most affluent travelers.

As we take a closer look at what the majority of our affluent travelers are planning for this year, it is hardly a surprise that European vacation options by land, river or deep-water cruises are as popular as ever. In fact, it is quite gratifying to see these destinations regain momentum after a challenging year. Further buoyed by a stronger dollar, clients are seeking out destinations like Italy and Croatia. Cruises on European rivers and small ship deep sea cruises add the expertise that only luxury agents can provide by designing unique travel experiences. That is certainly one reason why bookings for various segments of the luxury travel industry are higher than or on par with last year for more than 80% of our survey participants. The allure of Italy is stronger than ever, particularly with affluent travelers who are seeking authentic, enriching experiences paired with a multitude of excellent accommodations. Add to that the favorable exchange rate, and Italy is a huge magnet within the luxury sphere for American and world travelers as well. 

Top Cruise Itineraries

1. Mediterranean
2. Alaska
3. European river
4. Caribbean
5. Greek Isles

Top Emerging Destinations

1. Cuba
2. Croatia
4. Bhutan
4. Iceland
5. Colombia

Top Global Destinations

1. Italy
2. France
3. South Africa
4. New Zealand
5. Maldives/Mexico (tie)
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