The Mombacho Volcano rises behind the colonial architecture of Granada, Nicaragua.
As luxury travelers look toward 2015, they have their sights set on longer trips and exotic destinations. We spoke with Scott Wiseman, president, Americas, Cox & Kings, who shed some light on what’s trending in 2015.
“More this year than ever before, there is a clear number-one destination, and that is Latin America,” Wiseman tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “Destinations like Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama have become super popular, and not just with mainstream itineraries.”
Luxe travelers are looking to spend a much longer period of time in country, ranging from two weeks to 30 days. “The length of trip has become much longer, especially as some of these emerging countries come out. People want to see them before they get overdeveloped. They appreciate the rawness,” he notes. While spending these lengthy amounts of time in destinations, travelers are also looking to book more exotic experiences. Primitive accommodations do not deter them as much anymore, if it means coming out of the experience with a fantastic story. People are also trending toward anything that is unique. “We have put together a program where we use luxury Airstream campers in the salt flats in Bolivia. They have been completely refurbished and outfitted with luxury amenities. In India, we are selling people more on train travel, as well,” Wiseman says.
Cox & Kings has four new trips in Asia, as well, visiting China, Tibet and Nepal. Nepal and Tibet are being requested by themselves quite a bit, but are also tied in with India, Wiseman says. “Japan continues to be a growing request,” he adds, especially with the opening of the new Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto. “Within China, the Silk Road is coming back again. Destinations ebb and flow, and the Silk Road is definitely on the rise again.”
We also spoke with Wiseman about destinations that have not quite yet emerged, but ought to be on advisors’ radars for the future. “We’ve seen Greenland, Sardinia and Western Australia grow,” he says. “Usually Greenland isn’t much of a destination, but we’ve put together an interesting program there.” Travelers are also frequenting countries that they may have seen before, but are visiting them in a new light. In Tanzania, for example, travelers are booking beyond a traditional safari to go trekking with chimpanzees. “We’re able to offer people who go back to Africa the next type of experience,” he says.