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Top International Travel Trends for 2017

Top International Travel Trends for 2017

Caribbean cruises and Cancun are the top two international vacation destinations for Americans in 2017 just as they were last year. However, with the value of the U.S. Dollar at near record highs, London moves up a notch to number three in a new survey of travel professionals.

As part of its annual Travel Trends Survey, Travel Leaders Group polled 1,689 of its U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers, and frontline agents about the international destinations they’ve booked for 2017.

A Caribbean cruise is the number one international “destination” for 2017, as cited by 37.6 percent of respondents. Caribbean cruises are followed by (#2) Cancun, Mexico at 31.2%; (#3) London, England at 26.9%; (#4) European river cruises at 21.8%; (#5) Rome, Italy at 20.5%; (#6) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at 17.3%; (#7) Paris, France at 15.4%; (#8) Mediterranean cruises at 15.1%; (#9) Montego Bay, Jamaica at 14.4%; and (#10) Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico at 12.5%.

Fans of Caribbean cruises will have more options in 2017, with several new ships setting sail from South Florida including Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. Highlights include: 20 dining options, a full-service spa, seven iconic “neighborhoods” to stroll through, a kids’ water park, and the tallest slide at sea.

Pristine beaches make Cancun one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations. But there’s plenty of entertainment to go along with the sand and sun. Country music performers will only be a short ferry ride away in Isla Mujeres this February 7–11, for the Island Time Music and Fishing Festival—an event that benefits a local school.

The Brexit decision by British voters to leave the European Union has sent the pound plummeting, making a London vacation significantly less expensive than it’s been in years. Among the year’s must-see events will be a tribute to Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death. Kensington Palace opens “Diana: Her Fashion Story” on Feb. 24, with some of her most iconic outfits on display.

European river cruises continue to find exciting ways to tempt travelers. Avalon Waterways is offering a new 9-day trip along the Danube from Linz, Austria, to Budapest, Hungary. The journey includes excursions for passengers who want to maintain an active pace, from a running tour of Vienna to canoeing, hiking, and biking. 

The city of Rome celebrates its birthday on April 21st, and the Natale di Roma is a fun time to be in the Italian capital, with street performers, historic reenactments, parades, and live music spread out across the city. There’ll be special events in the weeks leading up to the celebration, too.

Travelers seeking relief from the winter’s cold will find a haven in sunny Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. A highlight is the Punta Cana Carnival on the second Saturday in March, featuring a parade of dancers and musicians that offers a showcase for the country’s rich culture.

More Americans are booking trips to Paris in 2017, as the City of Light moves up to 7th place in the survey, from 11th in 2016. Iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame will be joined by a new museum dedicated to designer Yves Saint Laurent. The Paris Carnival, a colorful and musical parade through the city, takes place February 26th.

To plan a vacation anywhere in the world, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793 or

© Travel Leaders Group