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For Immediate Release – Having already announced the highest ranking international and domestic destinations booked by its luxury leisure clientele for the rest of 2019 and into 2020,  Ovation Travel Group – one of the largest independently owned travel management companies headquartered in the US – is sharing the top “emerging” international destinations for which Ovation travel advisors have seen substantial surges in demand. Ovation advisors have experienced specific increases for two southern Italian regions – Puglia and Sicily – as well as other noteworthy spikes in interest for Croatia, Israel, Japan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“We recently asked Ovation Travel Group’s expert luxury leisure travel advisors to name the top emerging destinations internationally that they previously booked infrequently at best, but have now noticed significant growths in popularity,” explained Paul Metselaar, CEO and Chairman of Ovation Travel Group, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary. “Since our goal is to be ‘your trusted travel partner,’ it is imperative that our leisure travel advisors remain at the forefront of all trends globally, including which destinations are emerging in popularity, particularly so they can counsel their clients from positions of unparalleled knowledge and expertise.”

Italy’s Puglia and Sicily enjoy surge in client interest

“Our clients simply can’t get enough of Italy. While the country remains the premier international destination for our clientele, perhaps it should come as no surprise that they are now seeking out unique new places within Italy to experience including Puglia and Sicily,” explained Gina Gabbard, Senior Vice President of Leisure & Independent Advisors, Ovation Travel Group. “Up until the last few years, most of our Italy-bound clients headed to points in the country’s north, including Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice. Now, they are expanding their horizons significantly by venturing farther south to enchanting and less crowded places like Lecce and Alberobello in Puglia and Palermo and Mount Etna in Sicily.”

“The beauty of Puglia is found in its authentic experiences. Its olive growers, vineyards and rustic landscapes make the place a true jewel,” noted Andrew Steinberg, a luxury travel advisor with Ovation Travel Group in New York City. “Not yet overrun with visitors – and it’s not a stop for larger cruise ships, which can change a location due to the volume of people – Puglia still has an old world sense of history, beauty and charm, along with some of the best food and wine in the world.”

“My clients have discovered an authenticity to Sicily that they can’t find anywhere else,” stated Ashley E. Diamond, a New York-based luxury travel consultant for Ovation. “In addition to its unspoiled beaches and Greek ruins, my clients love the villages dotting the island with unique local shops and restaurants.”

Demand for Croatia continues to soar

“Twenty-five years ago, Croatia was a war-torn country angling for opportunities to attract travelers from the United States. Now it has come into its own with world-class destinations including Dubrovnik and Split, among many others,” Metselaar said. “Its popularity has soared dramatically, not just because of being prominently featured on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but because it is absolutely stunning geologically with beautifully preserved medieval cities along its pristine Adriatic coast. Plus, even though it is part of the European Union, it still uses its local currency, which in turn helps keep prices more reasonable.”

“My clients love Croatia because there is so much to see and do,” noted Harlee Rosenberg, travel advisor for Ovation in New York. “They also enjoy traveling to Croatia because of the great value for their dollar.”

Japan emerging in advance of 2020 Olympiad

“With the 2020 Summer Olympic Games slated to begin in Tokyo next July 24, Ovation Travel Group’s advisors are already seeing increased demand for one of Asia’s most unique island nations: Japan,” stated Gabbard. “Japan offers everything from the most cutting-edge modernity to awe-inspiring ancient traditions. It is a mesmerizing destination.”

“Japan’s culture is so different and vibrant, as is its amazing cuisine,” added New York-based Barbara Hammer, an Ovation luxury travel advisor. “My clients are especially intrigued and delighted by their traditional customs and ceremonies.”

Rwanda and Tanzania attracting wildlife enthusiasts

“Within Africa, Ovation Travel Group luxury advisors have been sending clients throughout the continent in higher numbers than ever, ranging from Morocco and Egypt in the north all the way down to South Africa,” noted Gabbard. “However, where we have seen the most dramatic growth recently has been in Rwanda and Tanzania. Rwanda is the perfect place to see gorillas in the wild, and Tanzania offers countless safari opportunities to see most of the other big game for which Africa is renowned.”

“Rwanda has really come into its own since the unspeakable genocide in 1994. It is perfect for anyone who wants a gorilla trekking experience,” stated Judy Stein, President of The Stein Collective, an affiliate of Ovation. “While Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali serves as the gateway to gorilla trekking, it is fast becoming a destination in its own right with cultural experiences, world-class art galleries and fashion, plus it is clean and safe.”

“So many of my clients are looking to travel to Tanzania. Witnessing the migration of its amazing wildlife is something really special to be seen,” noted Hammer. “My clients are ‘wowed’ and enjoy peace-of-mind when I recommend one of Tanzania’s extremely unique, top-tier lodges, especially the Ngorongoro Crater from &Beyond, as well as Gibbs Farm outside the crater.”

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