• Top trends in leisure travel for 2014

    Batman, the Republic of Turkey is a province located in the Southeastern Anatolia region. (GoTurkey.com)

    Batman, the Republic of Turkey is a province located in the Southeastern Anatolia region. (GoTurkey.com)

    Cindy Nelson
    Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend Virtuoso Travel Week; a gathering of over 4,000 leisure travel professionals from around the globe. This one-of-a-kind conference brings together those of us who sell travel with the various providers of travel. It’s an awesome event and one that always leaves me with a renewed enthusiasm our industry.

    At this year’s conference the seven top travel trends were introduced, with a definite trend toward delivering authentic experiences. Here are those seven trends:

    1. Catering to the individual traveler
    Personalized travel is the new luxury. Experiences have to go deeper and appeal to personal interests.

    2. Special interest travel
    Travel is deeply personal. Travelers more than ever can connect to destinations by exploring their passions while they’re there.

    3. Health and wellness travel
    Interest in improving health and remaining physically active on vacation continues to increase.

    4. “Culture brought to life” experiences
    Art, television, music and books have influenced travel for years, but never before like they are today. Travelers can now experience their favorite artists or characters through exclusive access and unforgettable events.

    5. Living like a local…only better
    No one knows how to navigate the places of the world better than a local. City hotels are catering to guests’ adventurous sides and providing them with authentic and localized experiences.

    6. Private residences
    In the spirit of living like a local, private residences and villas continue to increase in popularity, with travel companies enhancing the design, amenities, and services of these offerings.

    7. Destinations making news…and why the time to go is NOW
    Brazil and Turkey are the latest hot spots to visit. Brazil, home of the 2014 World Cup, is the destination on everyone’s lips according to Embratur, the country’s tourism board.  In fact, Rio de Janeiro was voted No. 6 in the “Cities That Excite” list from Virtuoso’s 2013 Travel Dreams Survey.  And then there’s Turkey — travel to Turkey has increased by more than 18% since last year. Turkish Airlines saw a 26% increase in global ticket sales from the same time period in 2012. Consumer interest and tourism is also being driven by the May 2013 opening of the country’s newest luxury hotel, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul.

    So what are your leisure travel plans for 2014? What kind of a travel experience do you hope to have on your next vacation?

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