Italy remains the most sought-after destination for North Americans looking for guided tours in 2023, with Portugal, Ireland and Egypt also in high demand. Uninterested areas, including parts of Africa and Asia, are starting to pick up steam after three years of low interest.
According to the majority of tour operators reached by Travel Market Report, European destinations are ahead of the rest by 2023.
“Europe is our go-to destination, and that remains true even with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict,” said Jeremy Palmer, Tauk’s chief operating officer. “Italy, particularly Sicily and Portugal, have been very well booked.”
Central weekends are also seeing strong demand in Italy. The country remains a top choice for customers in 2023, said Adam Grace, general manager of Central Holidays.
“Greece remains in the top 3 destinations,” he added.
According to Jeff Roy, vice president of revenue management and pricing, countries like Greece and Italy sell well for Collette, and Ireland is popular among Globetrotters.
“The UK and Ireland are always a popular choice and they are leading the return of tourism in 2023,” said Steve Bourne, chief marketing officer at Globus. The fastest growing destinations for the travel company are Spain and Portugal, the Globus representative added.
In Trafalgar, Italy, demand for 2023 is led by Portugal, Great Britain and Ireland.
Egypt, Africa, Asia
According to Grace, Egypt will be popular in 2023, with Central Weekend coming in second.
“We would like to add that orders to Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa) have increased tremendously in 2023,” he said, adding that interest from Israel and Ecuador is increasing.
Trafalgar has also added tours to African countries, South East Asia and the South Pacific.
“Many destinations as far away as the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa [are] Compared to previous years, 2023 is performing better,” the spokesperson said.
At Tauck, the company is seeing a resurgence of interest in travel to Asia, particularly Japan.
“Our orders to Japan have come back from everywhere else and because of increased demand over the last three years,” Palmer told TMR.
Collette’s Roy said their tour in Asia is “lagging behind pre-Covid numbers”, but the tour company expects its Japan tours to pick up over the next few months.
Unlike other tour companies, TMR is doing “pretty well” in 2023, with some destinations closer to home, such as Hawaii, Central America and the Canadian Rockies, Collette said.