Experts Predict Last-Chance Tourism As Top Travel Trend For 2017

Canada-lakeWhether it’s fatigue from 2016 or the changing political climate, the new year promises to be a banner year for travel with nearly one-third of American adults saying they are more likely to take time off this year compared to 2016, according to a recent AAA survey.

Overall, 42 percent of Americans are planning to take a vacation in 2017 – with most planning trips to the warm weather destinations in the U.S. and abroad. And while flight prices are predicted to be 8 percent higher than last year, they are still down 9 percent compared to two years ago, according to Hopper.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand for travel in the new year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing, in a release. “Whether they’re taking a road trip to a well-known domestic destination or visiting an exotic international locale, today’s travelers are seeking experiences that are unique and immersive.”

But where to go in the new year? From the best in travel experts, here are 2017’s top travel destinations and trends.

Cuba

Thanks to the addition of commercial flights to Cuba for the first time in 50 years, interest to the island nation skyrocketed, with KAYAK reporting a 191 percent increase in searches in this year over last. To capitalize on this this momentum, many airlines are also offering flash sales to Cuba.

“Havana has dominated headlines over this past year, so between that and increased accessibility, we weren’t surprised to see it take the top spot on the list,” said Dave Solomito, VP of North America Marketing of KAYAK, in an email.

Canada

America’s northern neighbor is continuing to have quite the year. Between being named both the Lonely Planet’s and the New York Times’ top travel destination for 2017, Justin Bieber’s home country is having a moment on par with the millennial heart throb’s comeback.

In addition to the strong buying power of the dollar fueling the country’s popularity, it is the country’s 150th birthday. Experts recommend traveling to destinations where the dollar continues to be strong, so if poutine and the great outdoors don’t do it for you, consider the savings.

Iceland

Due to a rise in cheap flights to Europe, as well as an extensive marketing campaign, Bjork’s home country is still to a tourist favorite in 2017.

“Reykjavik continues to be a hot spot – it has placed on the top trending destinations list for our last two Travel Hacker Guides,” says Solomito. This year, the island nation grabbed the number two spot on KAYAK’s annual list, with a 77 percent increase in year-over-year searches.

“There are many reasons why Reykjavik continues to trend, from Icelandair’s free stopover offer to the country’s breathtaking beauty (which will make you feel like you’re on another plant!) to the diverse range of experiences – volcanoes, hot springs and geysers,” continues Dave. “Not to mention – it’s a quick flight from the East Coast!”

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