What are this summer’s hottest destinations? Virtuoso finds out
Santa Maria dell'Isola in Tropea, Calabria, Italy.

What are this summer’s hottest destinations? Virtuoso finds out

NEW YORK — This summer will be hot, hot, hot according to Virtuoso, which recently revealed the top destinations for the 2016 summer travel season.

After mining its data warehouse of more than US$35 billion in transactions, the international luxury travel network has determined the top 10 places Virtuoso clients are travelling to this summer, with a few surprises making the list.

The Virtuoso Top 10 comprises the most popular destinations for summer vacations based on future bookings, and include:

  1. Italy
  2. United kingdom
  3. France
  4. Spain
  5. Netherlands
  6. Ireland
  7. Germany
  8. South Africa
  9. Greece
  10. Israel

While Europe continues to dominate the list of favoured destinations with eight of the 10 countries, the network’s sales to the continent are flat when compared to summer 2015. In particular, France, led by Paris, has rebounded nicely and remains strong. Overall, European countries offering great value to travellers are seeing spikes; bookings to the Netherlands are up 38% this summer over last, and Ireland bookings are up 58%, with travellers flocking to Dublin and Galway in particular.

Virtuoso also revealed a ‘Hot 10’ list of countries that have seen the largest percentage of growth in year-over-year bookings. They are:

  1. Tanzania (+98%)
  2. Portugal (+88%)
  3. Ireland (+58%)
  4. Brazil (+53%)
  5. Mexico (+48%)
  6. Russia (+44%)
  7. Netherlands (+38%)
  8. Jamaica (+28%)
  9. Sweden (+23%)
  10. Poland (+18%)

Judging by this list, Africa is red hot, with 15% growth in travel to the continent over last year. Tanzania, in particular, is experiencing a huge increase in bookings, while South Africa is also up from 2015’s summer bookings. Together, the two countries represent 80% of Virtuoso’s travel to Africa. Brazil is seeing a big boost due to the Summer Olympics (taking place Aug. 5-21), while Mexico and Jamaica are benefitting from inexpensive direct flights from the U.S. and reasonable hotel rates.

Data is sourced from Virtuoso’s U.S. and Canada-based travel agency members and reflects future travel for June, July and August 2016. The Top and Hot 10 lists represent international travel only, so neither the U.S. nor Canada is mentioned on them.

For more information go to virtuoso.com.