Italy Top Luxury Destination

Italy still has some serious travel panache.  In a fall survey of hundreds of travel agents, Italy beat out all comers as the most desirable destination for affluent travelers.

In the survey of professional travel bookers, Italy beat out European river cruises, always a strong market in recent years, as the top luxury destination.  The survey polled more than 1000 travel professionals regarding the preferences of their clients.  In all, 34 percent of pros rated Italy and its destinations number one, followed by 22 percent choosing European river cruises, and 18 percent choosing Mediterranean cruises.

Of course, with year-round destinations like the Cinque Terre, the allure of Italy is timeless.  However, one notable trend did arise out of the survey.  Almost all of the travel professionals reported that luxury bookings were up, or at least running even with 2016. In fact they report that many travelers are upgrading into luxury properties and activities.  Why might that be?  Since a great number of luxury travelers come from the U.S., the survey gave most of the credit to a strong U.S. economy, especially benefiting the most affluent travelers.

Curious as to how other destinations fared?  After Italy and the European and Mediterranean cruises, the top luxury destinations were, in order, the U.S., Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Caribbean Cruises, France and Iceland.

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