I LOVE this time of year. I always get calls saying” we are engaged” and looking for wedding suggestions or Honeymoon options. It is also “Wave Season” as all the Cruise Lines put out the best offers of the year for my clients. Prices are advertised for about 45 days, until Feb 15 or so, but are good for all of 2019. It is also the time of year when the Travel Industry release the Best Of 2019 Awards. In this issue I will review some of the award winners for 2019. Then we will begin a series about “He Asked”.
There are several polls taken during the year from consumers and from Registered Travel Consultants. Today I will review the winners in the Choice Awards for 2018.
Most Popular Destination;
USA, Alaska, winner again this year. Best known for wilderness, views, and cruises.
Europe; Italy, winner for the past several years. Best known for History, Food, and religion. More tour operators serve Italy than ever before, giving clients better choices in tours and pricing. Airlift is excellent.
Pacific and Asia; Australia, breaking into number 1 spot and always in contention over the past several years. Best known for “Down Under” lifestyle and bio diversity.
Mexico and Latin America; Mexico, winner again this year after some false rumors about travel dangers. There are 1 or 2 areas of Mexico that have US Government ravel warnings, but 99% is at the same travel warning level ( use good extra sense in safe travel) as United Kingdom, Italy and France. Best known for the widest choices in resorts and best all inclusive pricing.
Caribbean and Bermuda; Dominican Republic, best known for friendly residents, beaches and variety of all inclusive resorts.
Africa and Middle East; South Africa, best known, of course, for wildlife, adventure, and “Glamping” ( a new term for Luxury Camping).
Best Hotel / Resort Chain
Luxury; Four Seasons continues as winner internationally. Best known for service.
Premium; Marriott International; Best known for consistent product of high value.
Family; Disney; of course winner again and internationally mind you.
Best All Inclusive Chain;
Sandals, winner for over 15 years in this category as well as Romance, and Destination Weddings. Best known for “Luxury Included”: value. Beaches, owned by Sandals, are winners in Family category. Beaches Turks and Caicos is that top resort and was popularized by the long running TV show Wheel Of Fortune, starring the Carolina’s own Vanna White.
Luxury category was won by Karisma Hotels and Resorts, best known for location, dining, and cleanliness. Located in Mexico and Dominican. They also won the Cuisine category again this year, operating one of the very rare 5 star Michelin Restaurants in Mexico.