With this New Year, come new travel trends and opportunities for travelers to explore the world. Where are they headed? And why are they drawn there?
This year’s travel forecasts from the experts at Trip Advisor, Frommer and Wendy Perrin highlight several top destinations and activities to check out in 2016.
Top 10 Popular Destinations
This year’s list of the most popular destinations among surveyed travelers has Vietnam as number 9 where our Aqua Mekong sets sail departing from Ho Chi Minh City and traveling upriver into Cambodia, another fascinating traveler mecca.
- United States
- African safaris/New Zealand
- Vietnam/Costa Rica
- United Kingdom
Top 10 Activities Travelers Spend the Most On
Number 3 on the list of the top ten activities topping travelers’ lists are “trips with a private chef”. BINGO! We’ve just announced our Chef-hosted departures for 2016 featuring David Thompson and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.
All of our cruises (# 6) offer unique guided on/offshore excursions, many of which include hiking, fishing and wildlife (from rare and migratory birds to marine and jungle species). And our cruises always include complimentary wine (#9) with the ideal secluded and exotic locations just ideal for (#5) romance. Valentine’s Day anyone?
- Trips with private chef
- Scuba diving
Top Travel Trends for 2016
We’ve assembled our travel trend forecast for 2016 and here are our top 5 picks:
“Experiential” versus “Sightseeing” Travel
Travelers today are choosing experiential vacations which incorporate multiple types of sensory stimulants (from the visual to audible, from taste to touch) instead of merely crossing famous landmarks off their bucket lists. Guests on our cruises experience our destinations in an authentic and locally-sensitive manner, absorbing the lifestyles and everyday lives of those who make the Mekong River or the Amazon their home. For example, while cruising on the Aqua Mekong, passengers visit local village markets with our Chef, meet Buddhist monks during a temple blessing ceremony, and listen to traditional folk music performed by local villagers followed by a unique unicorn youth dance.
Spending More Because It’s Worth It
A fourth 2016 travel trend is an overall increase in travel budgets and an increased tendency for consumers to splurge on purchases of experiences over purchases of “things”. We love this trend! Our guest reviews say it all with many of our guests pleasantly surprised by the extraordinarily high level of staff attention and service they receive on board our cruiseships. Our deliberate investment in a greater than 1-to-1 ratio of staff to guests, architectural design of our ships, use of sustainably-harvested construction materials, water purification and recycling systems, Consulting Chef-designed menus and more does put us at the higher end on price but consistently, our guests tell us “we’re worth it”.
Choosing Destinations Based On Cultural Opportunities
Globally, 47% of travelers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country. The ability of travel to transport you far outside your comfort zone to gain exposure to different ways of life is becoming more and more important to travelers. Where better to experience unique cultures than in Cambodia, Vietnam and Peru, destinations rich in history and cultural heritages embracing a multitude of religions and cross-border influences we can all learn from?
More Multigenerational Travel
Generations traveling together has been a popular trend for several years. Many of our guests at Aqua Expeditions host family reunions, family vacations and important anniversaries on our cruise ships. The unique design of our ships, being smaller and more intimate yet luxurious and indulgent, are perfect for multigenerational, very special and memorable trips. Our ships offer generous lounging and dining areas, and can accommodate families who love to travel together no matter the age. On the Aqua Amazon, for example, four suites can be interconnected to cater to larger family groups.
Vacations = “Wellness Travel”
Travel as a means of boosting personal wellbeing is another important travel trend today. Active travel which incorporates an element of adventure is also linked to the benefits of fitness and getting outdoors into nature. And cultural exposure to local traditions and cuisines provide educational opportunities which enrich the mind as well as the body. On our Aqua Expeditions’ cruise ships, guests experience first-hand the wildlife, ecosystems, local customs and marine and jungle landscapes native to our river destinations. And they learn from guide presentations about the history of areas we cruise through and enjoy 5-star, regionally-authentic cuisine using the freshest ingredients, sourced locally.
Where will you be traveling this year? What travel trends are relevant to you? Tell us on Facebook!