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These Are The Top Destinations For Luxury Travelers In 2024

by Staff

There’s plenty of evidence that 2024 will be a watershed year for luxury travel.

Case in point: the 22nd edition of ILTM Cannes–one of the world’s leading luxury travel events, which took place in early December–set new records as its largest edition to date.

Over 2,100 buyers from 83 countries met with 2,100 exhibitors representing 330 brands in over 82,000 one-on-one meetings, alongside an extensive program of networking events–all testament to the luxury travel sector’s triumphant return post-pandemic.

What destinations are at the top of travelers’ wishlists in the year ahead? The American Express Travel 2023 Global Travel Trends report revealed that 89% of respondents are seeking out destinations they’ve never visited before. Using data culled from global American Express Card Member travel bookings and input from Amex Travel’s 6,000 travel consultants, American Express Travel compiled its 2024 Trending Destinations list, offering off-the-beaten-path alternatives to some of the world’s most visited places.

Among its picks: Udaipur, India, the Rajasthani city renowned for its lakes, palaces, and exquisite handicrafts, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico–the onetime epicenter of Mexico’s brisk silver trade, and Unesco World Heritage List member since 2008—whose storied history, enchanting Baroque/Neoclassical colonial architecture, and enviable climate have lured streams of expats for decades.

Meanwhile, global luxury and experiential travel network Virtuoso surveyed more than 2,000 of its 20,000-plus professional travel advisors across 54 countries to predict where well-healed travelers are headed in the coming year. Notably, Italy tops its global, family travel, and honeymoon destinations lists, while Antarctica takes first place in adventure destinations, and Paris and Japan lead the global cities and reemerging destinations lists, respectively.

Travel outfitters have plenty of intriguing recommendations as well. Red Savannah, an award-winning, U.K.-based travel company offering peerless private villa experiences and custom-designed journeys worldwide, is keen on Malta, which will celebrate its 50th birthday as a republic in 2024, and packs a formidable amount of history and culture into its diminutive 122 square miles. Highlights of the coming year include the opening of Casa Bonavita, an 18th-century mansion reimagined as a 17-room boutique hotel in the town of Attard, and the unveiling of the 16,000-square-foot Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS), which will serve as a showcase for local contemporary talent and engage with international institutions to present groundbreaking works from across the world.

Red Savannah is also taking intrepid travelers high into the Himalayas with Secrets of Mustang, a new, ten-day journey to Mustang, Nepal, which includes five nights at the new Shinta Mani Mustang resort by celebrated hospitality architect and designer Bill Bensley, bookended by stays in Pokhara and Kathmandu.

There’s good news for the American travel industry too. According to the biannual travel forecast released last June from the U.S. Travel Association–the non-profit organization representing the $1.2 trillion American travel industry–inbound international travel now stands at 84% of 2019 levels, and is expected to reach 99% in 2024. Inbound international spending rose 33.7% from a year ago, and is forecast to climb to $133 billion in 2023, and $185 billion by 2026.

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