Virtuoso, popular luxury travel network, published the list of most popular destinations for wealthy travelers in winter - spring 2016. The rank is based on the analysis of transactions worth more than $35 billion.
These days many luxury travelers escape from winter routine to exotic countries. The analysis includes popularity of certain countries on year-on-year basis and absolute popularity. The list of most popular countries is the following: Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Argentina, India, Chile, and China. Global travel is on the rise in general, but travelers tend to choose more unusual destinations. For example, the list contains only one European destination, while Australia and New Zealand have become significantly more popular. Luxury travelers also pay attention to Asia and South America. Such countries as Argentina and Chile lure upscale tourists with their interesting history, food and wine, and amazing landscapes. Moreover, these destinations have many English speaking people, making them more attractive for travelers from the US.
The destinations in the Hot 10 list (the highest year-on-year growth of bookings for the first quarter) includes: Panama (+107%), Thailand (+92%), Switzerland (+56%), South Africa (+50%), Kenya (+47%), India (+46%), Jamaica (+44%), Vietnam (+43%), Colombia (+39%), and Spain (+34%). Africa draws attention of many luxury travelers these days. Increased popularity of such destinations as Kenya and South Africa helped the continent enjoy the boost of 29%. The presence in the list of such developing countries as Vietnam and Colombia is explained by increasing appetite of tourists for new places, new culture and cuisine.