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Top Travel Trends for 2015 from Cox & Kings
December 2, 2014
What its secret weapon? The company's expert team of Destination Managers. This group of global experts is constantly traversing the globe to see and hear firsthand what is new and what is next. It is exactly this proficiency that enables Cox & Kings to deliver the rare and individual experiences that today's travelers seek.
• Destinations – Latin America. Latin America. Latin America. (pictured above) In all seriousness, if ever there was a clear number one destination trending for 2015, it is Central and South America. Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama have all risen to the top of next year's ‘must see' list. Whether it is new infrastructure, new hotels or new government policies, these trending destinations are ready to welcome travelers on a broader scale. “Clients, who have been to Latin America before, are going back. This traveler is more open-minded and in search of that truly authentic, off-the-beaten path experience,” said Wiseman. “Additionally, Japan, China, Egypt, Greenland, Tibet and Nepal are at all seeing an extremely strong interest for the same reasons as Latin America, and will be on many 2015 ‘destinations to visit' list.”
• Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Increasingly, guests are requesting authentic and unique ways to traverse a destination and these various modes of transportation only further deepen the novelty of travel. Whether it is riding the rails in India or cruising down the Yangtze in China, chartering a bi-plane between African camps or bicycling through hipster and historic Brooklyn, the form of transportation has become as integral to the experience as the destination itself.
• International ‘Peer to Peer' Relations – 2015 is likely to see a new twist on the “sharing economy,” as guests of the same social strata are more interested in meeting like-minded individuals in a destination rather than visiting another touristy shop. Travelers want to engage on a more personal level with their peers and share common interests and experiences. So, for a couple visiting Argentina that collects modern art, it is of significant interest for them to meet other modern art collectors who live in Buenos Aires. “From art to wine or even business, we have found that people will open their homes and private collections to connect with those who hold similar means and pursuits,” said Wiseman. “It expands their international “friends” list in person rather than virtually.”
• Come Backs – Over the last five years, stunning and majestic locations such as Egypt and Japan experienced a heavy downturn in their vital tourism industry. However, they are once again rising back to the top of many travelers “must see” lists and quickly. Stay tuned as they will be seen on even more in 2015. Bonus for early adapters: visiting now can be mean better value and fewer crowds.
• Let Your Spirit Be Your Guide - Beyond the externally and visually stimulation, travelers are seeking authentic spiritual encounters that will enlighten and enrich their souls. From walking in the footsteps of Buddha in India to a private healing ceremony with a Shaman at Machu Picchu, there is a thirst for the mystical and spiritual. So much so, that India & The Subcontinent Destination Expert Seema Prakash, created the journey “India & Nepal: A Spiritual Journey” in response to this growing demand.
• Accessing the Inaccessible - From staying in an Airstream on the Bolivian Salt Flats to “Glamping” at India's Hornbill Festival in The Ultimate Traveling Camp, lodging is moving to and with the guest. “We have found that rather than visiting or touring a festival or landmark during the day and driving back to a hotel at night, our guests want a totally immersive experience,” said Wiseman. Answering the question “Where did you stay?” now becomes a location that wasn't even possible before, in lieu of a brick and mortar hotel.
• Luxury = Time – In just one year, we have seen the pendulum swing away from the quick trip, and towards longer, more immersive journeys. Rather than “country counters” who are looking to add stamps to their passports, luxury travelers are looking to spend a much longer period of time in a destination, ranging from two weeks to 30 days. It's quality versus quantity now. This is especially true for the emerging destinations, where they want to experience them in depth, spanning the entire country, from city to rural areas and inland to coast.
• Seasonality is a State of Mind. – While traditional travel advice holds that everyone needs to see the Great Migration in June, go to Europe in the Spring or the Galapagos in the Fall, in reality there are just as many things to do and see throughout the year in all corners of the globe. “Clients are more interested in learning about the benefits and uncommon experiences of “off season” travel versus the more popular and expensive times,” said Wiseman. “We are also better educating them on various viewing times of animal activity, festivals and weather.” Visiting Botswana in the green season has become more popular than ever as have the year round European Christmas Markets in Munich, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna.
• The More Exotic The Better - The fact that a locale may still be fairly raw or young in its tourism development and infrastructure, offering only primitive accommodations, roads, or means of transportation is no longer a deterrent. It is rich fodder for fantastic storytelling and bragging rights back home that no one else will have. Travelers want to feel as though they are among the very first to visit a destination. They want to tour countries that are literally just emerging and see them before they become developed or, worse, overdeveloped. “This past year Cox & Kings saw more interest than ever in places such as Greenland, Sardinia and even Western Australia. Guests wanted locations that are still untouched yet have become more accessible,” said Scott Wiseman.
• Exploring Your Own Backyard - From its stunning natural beauty to “hands on” learning of our country's great history, there is growing interest for Americans in wanting to experience the fantastic sights within our own borders. There's a motivation to support the economy, but also to experience the varied regional and cultural nuances, making this “local” appeal gain even more momentum. “We had received requests from many of our clients to handcraft journeys in the U.S. the same way we did for them overseas because up until now, there wasn't a way to access the country's best accommodations, guides and get insider access the way it is delivered overseas,” said Wiseman. “So after a year of research, we crafted a series of U.S. Journeys that highlight the natural wonders, beauty and history of this great nation, yet make it easier and much more accessible to navigate.”
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