For Immediate Release – With international travel fueling its tremendous growth in luxury leisure sales that are already up 40% year over year, Ovation Travel Group – one of the largest independently owned travel management companies headquartered in the U.S. – is revealing its clientele’s most favored destinations outside the United States for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. Italy is the hands-down favorite with other key points within Europe – France, United Kingdom and Spain – among the most popular destinations. Ovation is also seeing increased demand for key markets within Africa and Asia, as well as Barbados.

“Overall, Ovation Travel Group has experienced a 20% year-over-year increase in bookings across the various travel segments we serve, including corporate, luxury leisure and meetings/incentives – astounding for a company that is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2019. However, our luxury leisure bookings are absolutely soaring at 40% year-over-year,” explained Paul Metselaar, CEO and Chairman of Ovation Travel Group. “That is not only because of our increased market share, but also due to the elevated demand for international travel among our clientele and our pledge to them that we are ‘your trusted travel partner.’”

Italy: Number One International Destination

“Italy is the overwhelming hands-down favorite international destination among Ovation’s discerning clientele,” noted Metselaar. “They continue to show an affinity for all things Italian: the amazing sights, rich history and culture, world-renowned cuisine and fine wines, and of course the welcoming, stylish citizenry.”

Ovation advisors weighed in on why Italy reigns supreme among their clientele.

“Italy is always reliable with its excellent food, storied hotels and amazing people,” said Sylvia Lebovitch, an Ovation travel advisor based in New York.

“The reason why Italy is the most popular international destination begins with direct flights offered from New York, making it especially convenient,” noted New York-based Ovation advisor Ashley Diamond. “But Italy really appeals to my clients because of their access to amazing food and wine, history, art, culture, luxury accommodations and more!”

Echoing that sentiment was Deborah Gellis, travel advisor with Ovation in New York: “The culture, epicurean delights and diversity of things to do – along with its relative safety – continue to have my clients clamoring for Italy.”

“As a substantial cross-section of our clients have experienced and even exhausted some of the major sights in Italy’s north, our advisors are now seeing a marked increase in interest among their clients in traveling to southern Italy,” Metselaar added. “We expect the trend among our clients to seek out less crowded destinations to continue.”

Europe’s Other Most Popular Destinations

France, the United Kingdom and Spain are among Ovation’s other most-requested European destinations going into 2020.

“France is always a favorite from a luxury perspective thanks to its stunning scenery and attractions coupled with exquisite wine and food options, along with legendary hotels,” stated Gina Gabbard, Senior Vice President of Leisure & Independent Advisors. “In the United Kingdom, bookings are holding their own despite Brexit. In fact, the added benefit to our clients is the strong value of the U.S. dollar against British sterling.”

Regarding Spain’s popularity, New York-based Ovation travel advisor Harlee Rosenberg asserted, “Spain is simply an extraordinary country offering lots to see and do. Plus, Spain is still one of the European countries that is not outrageously priced.”

Closer to Home

One noteworthy destination closer to the United States that has enjoyed higher demand among Ovation clients is the Caribbean island of Barbados.

“Barbados has entered the all-inclusive market, which has contributed to its demand,” noted Wayne Davis, a New York-based travel advisor with Ovation. “Another contributor has been the negative headlines out of Dominican Republic.”

For counsel and assistance with international luxury vacations, as well as domestically, travelers are invited to tap into the expertise of Ovation Travel Group’s experienced advisors by calling 800.977.5893 or emailing Ovation’s luxury leisure travel division is also inviting independent advisors to learn how to qualify for its program by visiting