Three of the World’s Hottest Destinations Are Also Among the Most Peaceful
Iceland, New Zealand, and Portugal have come out on top in a survey of travel agents that measures Americans’ interest in visiting the world’s most peaceful countries according to the Global Peace Index, which was compiled by a nonpartisan organization—the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Iceland tops the list for the sixth year in a row, and is followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Slovenia.
Travel Leaders Group asked 785 of its luxury travel agents across the United States to identify the level of interest among their most discerning clients in visiting the top 10 countries. New Zealand was the leader when it came to “high interest,” with 32.3 percent, followed by Iceland at 27.7 percent, and Portugal with 14.1 percent. When combining all interest levels, New Zealand ranked number one again, with nearly 90 percent indicating that their clients have expressed “some” or “high” interest, followed by Switzerland at 83.6 percent, and Iceland with 83.3 percent.
New Zealand, Iceland, and Portugal have much to offer travelers.
New Zealand’s South Island features a landscape of mountains, lakes, and glaciers that stood in for Middle Earth in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. A great way to get a glimpse of the cliffs and waterfalls of Milford Sound is by kayaking up close or by cruise. The cities are on North Island: cosmopolitan Auckland and the capital, Wellington, with its harbor, beaches, and waterfront promenade.
Iceland has become one of the world’s trendiest travel destinations. Foodies will love the lively capital of Reykjavik, with its growing restaurant scene. For a soothing experience, try the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. October to March is the time to view the dazzling northern lights. Also, fans of “Game of Thrones” can check out filming locations like the beautiful Lake Myvatn.
Portugal is a country with a rich history and sunny climate. Go to Lisbon, the capital, to explore colorful neighborhoods, quaint shops, and historic sites like the 16th century Jeronimos Monastery. Then, head south to the Algarve, for gorgeous beaches, picturesque towns, and some of the best golf courses in Europe. Or try the northern coastal city of Porto, famous for its Port wine.
A key factor for many affluent travelers is being able to work with a professional who has intimate or even firsthand knowledge of a particular destination. Travel Leaders Group’s luxury-travel agents have seen the world, and they bring that experience home with them to assist their clients—feeding their curiosity, answering their questions, and opening their eyes to new destinations and experiences.
Travel Leaders agents also bring the benefit of extensive training. Nearly 17 percent of those surveyed are certified specialists in New Zealand, which is based on their travels to the country and planning vacations for clients. Nearly 8 percent are 100 percent PURE New Zealand Specialists, having completed Tourism New Zealand’s training program. Following New Zealand, the next leading countries for which they have certification by a governing organization are: Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Iceland.
For help planning a trip anywhere in the world, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793, or locally at 719-597-0004.