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Top global travel destinations with most interest and appeal named

Top global travel destinations with most interest and appeal named

New Zealand and Portugal rate highest among international destinations for interest and appeal

Whether it’s due to the scenery and northern lights, the attention from Game of Thrones fans, or its rising profile among foodies and adventure travelers, Iceland has quickly become one of the trendiest travel destinations on earth.

The Nordic island nation of volcanoes and hot springs is also ranked as the most peaceful nation, according to the 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI).  Together with New Zealand (GPI #4) and Portugal (GPI #5), the three countries rate the “highest level of interest” for travel among the Global Peace Index’s top performing countries, according to findings released today by Travel Leaders Group from a survey of its luxury travel agents to discover which countries had the most interest and appeal among their clientele.


“By comparing the top-performing countries from the Global Peace Index with our luxury travelers’ interests, we were hoping to gauge whether there is any symmetry between the two – and we discovered that in several cases, symbiotic relationships have been developed that could significantly shape our industry in the years to come,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.

“These particular 10 countries – which have long been a part of our overall, comprehensive list of top destinations for American travelers – may experience unprecedented growth in traveler appeal. That’s clearly been the case with Iceland, and, by all indications, New Zealand is on the cusp.”

Traveler Interest in the Global Peace Index’s Top 10:

In its recent survey, Travel Leaders Group asked its luxury travel agents to identify the level of interest their most discerning clientele have in visiting the Top 10 most peaceful countries as identified in the 2016 Global Peace Index.

• New Zealand was the clear leader, in terms of “highest level of interest,” followed by Iceland and Portugal.

• When combining all interest levels for affluent travelers, New Zealand ranked #1 again, while Switzerland was second and Iceland placed third.



Top Ranked Peaceful Countries  High Interest  Interest  No Interest

Austria  9.7%  54.2%  36.1%
Canada  12.4%  61.9%  25.7%
Czech Republic  12.9%  52.3%  34.8%
Denmark  6.6%  55.0%  38.4%
Iceland  27.7%  55.6%  16.7%
Japan  12.4%  56.3%  31.3%
New Zealand  32.3%  57.4%  10.3%
Portugal  14.1%  61.9%  24.0%
Slovenia  2.2%  25.3%  72.5%
Switzerland  13.2%  70.4%  16.4%

Expertise and Specializations:

Additionally, Travel Leaders Group asked its luxury travel agents about their expertise in counseling high-end clients on these 10 destinations:

Firsthand Knowledge:  An important factor for many affluent travelers is working with a professional travel consultant who has firsthand, personal experience in a particular destination.

• When asked, “Have you, personally, visited any of these (10) countries in the last 5 years?” the largest percentages of Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel agents surveyed have recently visited: (1) Canada, (2) Austria, and (3) Switzerland.

Certification of Specialization: Another key indicator of expertise in a particular travel destination is extensive education and training that leads to specialization and certification.

• New Zealand – Close to 17% of those surveyed consider themselves specialists based on their personal experience traveling throughout New Zealand and planning vacations for their affluent clientele. Another nearly 8% of Travel Leaders Group luxury travel agents surveyed stated they are officially 100% PURE New Zealand Specialists through Tourism New Zealand’s training program.

• Following New Zealand, the next leading countries for those surveyed stating they are formally certified by a governing organization were: (2) Switzerland, (3) Canada, (4) Japan and (5) Iceland.

“Travel not only allows us to literally see the world, but it also fosters the ultimate bridge toward better understanding different peoples and cultures. Our shared curiosity leads to a greater appreciation and empathy for the world around us,” added Gail Grimmett, President of Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group, both renowned for their best-in-class luxury travel agent advisors.

“Our luxury agents have personally traveled the world.  From Africa, Asia, and Antarctica to Europe, South America, and the South Pacific, they are exceptionally prepared to use their considerable resources and insights to assist the traveling public in feeding their curiosity, opening their eyes to new destinations, and delighting them with experiences that hadn’t even dreamed were possible.”

This survey data on luxury traveler interest in the Top 10 countries on the Global Peace Index is based on responses from 785 Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travel agent experts across the US.

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