The year ahead


A new survey from Travel Leaders Group has found that Florida travel bookings have not been hindered by the Zika virus. The 2017 Travel Trends Survey found that the virus is having little effect on overall bookings to Florida, with Orlando maintaining its first place ranking domestically, and Miami continuing to hold a place in the top 10.

When it comes to ‘up and coming’ international destinations, Iceland was found to be the top European up and coming destination (47.3 per cent), followed by Croatia (21.6 per cent) and Portugal (11.6 per cent).

The survey also revealed that, based on 2017 bookings to date and conversations with clients, 94.5 per cent of Travel Leaders Group agents predict that clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2017.

Additionally, Travel Leaders Group has reported that the ‘Brexit effect’ is still having a positive impact on travel to London, which has moved up to third place, just behind Caribbean cruises and Cancun in Mexico.

The survey was conducted between 17 November and 9 December and information was gleaned from 1,689 US-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand and Travel Leaders Group’s units.

Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko said the findings also highlight the impact of the US dollar on travellers’ behaviour. “The strength of the US dollar is still a driving factor in consumer decisions, and London is a perfect example,” he stated. “So, too, is Paris – buoyed by the exchange rate and travellers’ desires to return to one of the world’s most iconic cities.”