Family Travel, England And Cuba Top Topics In Virtuoso’s ‘2012 Luxe Report’

Luxury travel agent network Virtuoso has released their annual “luxe” report. Generally, we’re fans of anything luxurious and travel related, so this was one we couldn’t wait to get our hot little hands on.

The network’s database of luxury travel agents and clients are generally seen as some of the industry’s best predictors in upcoming luxury travel trends.

So … what are luxury travelers doing?

Despite high fuel and hotel costs, affluent travelers are still traveling, particularly to international destinations like Italy and France, with England joining the top five on this prestigious list for the first time. They have a strong desire to explore new, undiscovered destinations with Cuba, for the first time ever, topping the polls as the most popular emerging destination.

Travelers are searching for new experiences in off-the-beaten-path locations. Cambodia and Belize made their debut in the “undiscovered destinations” category this year.

While we’ve read much about cruise disasters of late, the idea of traveling via boat hasn’t died a swift death. High-end river cruises were named as the second of five biggest emerging travel trends, just behind family and multi-generational travel.

Family travel was a huge trend studied in the survey. Families were most likely to visit destinations including Italy, England, Turks & Caicos, South Africa, Hawaii and Costa Rica.
Within the U.S., Miami and predominantly South Beach joined the list of top five destinations, coming in at number five on the list after Maui, New York City, Napa Valley and Sonoma and Las Vegas.

The most popular destinations for romantic travel continue to be Italy, French Polynesia and France; however, the 2012 report saw both Bali and the Seychelles join the top five. Apparently love can survive a 20-plus-hour flight – these travelers must be in first class.

We’re not super surprised by the results or the addition of England into many of the categories, given the recent Royal Wedding and Olympics-related media attention. What about you? Do these results surprise you?

[Flickr image of Cuba via citronate]