We recently wrote about our take on the strength of incentive travel in 2024 (spoiler, it’s good!). With a mixture of some client budget caution during an election year, expected rising levels of hospitality service, and stabilizing domestic airfares, our team is confident 2024 will be the first year in several to look and feel more calm, cool and collected.
Things Are Already Bustling in 2024
Our sales team is already busy with site visits (Australia, among others) and programs operating in warm weather areas in the Caribbean. Our travel planning team has barely been able to come up for air as they continue to be tasked with knocking out proposals for a wide variety of destinations around the world.
Hot Travel Destinations of 2024
Looking at 2024 destination selections, we’re seeing our clients choose a blend of “tried and true” domestic favorites like Las Vegas, Napa and San Diego, and some “new to them” but well-known to be incredible experiences like European river cruising or the classic luxury of U.S. resorts like the Montage Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Most popular destinations close to home continue to be all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean islands.
The hottest international incentive travel destinations we are seeing based on demand and availability this year are European river cruises because of the number of cities people can explore and the wide variety of rivers offering excursions (Danube, Rhone, Rhine, Douro, etc.). Costa Rica and Japan deserve mentions too.
Get Your Passports Ready for 2025 and Beyond
Pushing out to 2025 and 2026, Joe Reise, our Director of Travel Purchasing, Planning, and Supplier Relations, says clients are looking for our recommendations on destinations they’ve never taken a group to before.
“We think the demand for international travel will continue as we already have programs going to destinations such as Paris and Argentina in 2025. We continue to propose Europe, Asia, and South America for 2026 programs to clients as well. What we are seeing is a desire to travel to new places, but instead of being destination specific, clients are asking us to stay within certain parameters like finding an all-inclusive option, staying in North America or giving different river cruising suggestions,” says Reise.
Future Destinations of Popular Demand
When clients are asking about specific destinations for the future, we’re hearing a lot of interest in places like Costa Rica, Banff, Europe and Asia. Our team is recommending Thailand for its friendly people and diverse culture, Canada for favorable exchange rates and second-tier cities in Europe because they’re more budget-friendly.
“We have a client going to Florence, Italy. This client has never thought it was possible to go to Europe and up until now had only done all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Mexico. We completely changed the way they structured their itinerary and inclusions and kept within their budget by using a second-tier city like Florence during low season. The change in destinations is a huge appeal to their participants. The reaction has been amazing,” reports Reise.
Going On Your Own
If you’re looking for a destination for just your family to explore in 2024, our well-traveled team is really high on a few options right now.
- The Cyclades, Greece is an island group that includes Mykonos and Santorini. It’s gorgeous! Look for new flights and some hotel deals in 2024 and make this a must-see destination.
- New Zealand or Ireland are solid choices due to the people, the language, the upscale lodging options, the natural beauty and the variety of activities.
Reise is a big fan of picking an experience over a destination to keep to a specific budget. If you know you want to stay in the U.S. and great shopping is a must, you’ll have many cities to keep an eye on for flight and hotel deals. If you know you want to lounge by a pool in a hot climate but you don’t care if it’s in Arizona, Florida or Southern California, get alerts on deals in all three areas and pick the one that comes in at the best price for your time frame.
Traveling is back, enjoy it!