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Greek Islands Among Europe’s “Up and Coming” 2015 Cruise Destinations

Cruiseship at the Mykonos Port. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Cruiseship at the Mykonos Port. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The Greek islands have been labeled as the second “up and coming” cruise destination in Europe for 2015 with a 21 percent growth compared with 2014, according to the results of the authoritative annual Travel Trends Survey of Travel Leaders Group.

The survey, based on actual booking data, was conducted by Travel Leaders Group from 11 November – 8 December 2014, and includes responses from 1,226 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand. Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion in 2013.

When asked for their expert findings, Travel Leaders Group agents nationally indicated the following as the “up and coming” cruise destinations within Europe: Croatia (25.2 percent), Greek Islands (21 percent), Iceland (17.8 percent), Czech Republic (10.3 percent), Portugal (8.8 percent).

Last year the top up and coming European destinations: Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Czech Republic and Portugal, respectively.

Europe cruising on the up

cruise“Internationally, while Caribbean cruising leads the way, Europe is drawing in Americans in the highest numbers we’ve seen this millennium,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

Eight of the top 15 international destinations this year are in Europe and include London, European river cruises, Rome, Mediterranean cruises and Paris.

“The strong interest for those destinations plays a definite factor in our agents stating nearly 97% of their clients will be spending the same or more on their vacations in 2015,” Mr. Liben noted.

Top international cruise destinations based on actual 2015 bookings

The following list displays the top international cruise destinations for 2015, along with rankings from the 2014 survey conducted one year ago (agents were asked to name up to five top destinations they’re already booking for 2015).

Rank

2015 Top International Destinations

2015%

Rank ’14

1

CRUISE – Caribbean

37.5%

1

2

Cancun, Mexico

31.8%

2

3

London, England

27.6%

6

4

CRUISE – Europe (River)

25.1%

5

5

Rome, Italy

21.3%

4

6

CRUISE – Europe (Mediterranean)

20.6%

3

7

Paris, France

19.0%

8

8

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

15.7%

7

9

Montego Bay, Jamaica

13.5%

10

10

Playa del Carmen/Riviera Maya, Mexico

11.0%

9

Travel Spending in 2015

Based on bookings-to-date for 2015 and conversations with clients, 96.5% of Travel Leaders Group agents surveyed say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2015. That is up over the responses for 2014 (94.0%), 2013 (92.2%) and 2012 (91.3%).

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