Where are travelers traveling? Although the answers vary, depending upon a traveler's income, age, workplace vacation policies, gender, family situation, health status and whom you ask, travelers are going almost everywhere.

Few places seem out of bounds, although West Africa is shunned for now due to Ebola fears, and parts of the war-torn Middle East and the Ukraine also are off-limits. 

Here are some quick answers, according to a cross-section of tour operators and agents:

  • Iceland, even in winter, when Icelanders eat, drink and are merrier than usual, especially during the Viking month of Thor (Jan. 24 to Feb. 23). 
  • The Dominican Republic, which has posted impressive growth this year, the highest since 2007, with Punta Cana leading the way. 
  • Jamaica, which expects to top the charts of more than 2 million visitors this year.
  • Mexico's Riviera Nayarit, which cannot seem do anything wrong. It's being billed as Mexico's new holiday destination on the Pacific coast, attracting well-heeled stars, socialites and plenty of positive social media.

Beyond those top four, Guatemala's visitor growth and popularity mirrors the influx of familiar North American hotel brands, including Hyatt, Courtyard by Marriott and La Quinta. 

"Investment by these top hotel brands is a testament to Guatemala's growing appeal in the international arena," said Pedro Duchez, director of Inguat, the government-run Guatemala Institute of Tourism.

Tauck reported strong numbers to North American sites, particularly anyplace with mountains, greenery and snow, and Virtuoso agents have noted strong growth in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand.

Far off the usual beaten path is Myanmar, rocketing up quickly on a lot of travel radar screens, including that of Natural Habitat Adventures, which in early 2015 will launch its first nature-focused tour exploring Myanmar along with the biodiversity of Thailand's Khao Sok National Park.

"Until a few years ago, Myanmar was off limits to most U.S. citizens because of political sanctions," a spokesman said. "Nat Hab now joins a select group of companies introducing travelers to Myanmar, yet with a fresh angle."

It's a high-priced journey, mixed with nature, shrines, wildlife and accommodations that include an eco-lodge perched high on the side of an extinct volcano and a private yacht with six luxury cabins.

Based on bookings by ASTA agents, Orlando is the clear domestic winner for the upcoming winter season, as it has been for several years.

"Orlando and Las Vegas remain on top as affordable, family-friendly and fun destinations," said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO. "They also are the type of destinations where a travel agent can enhance the trip by helping navigate Orlando's theme parks and picking the right Vegas hotel to meet the clients' needs."

Top international cities in summer, according to a recent ASTA survey of agents, include London, Rome, Paris, Cancun, Barcelona, Cancun and the Riviera Maya in Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Many companies come out with lists and ratings of the top destinations, based on visitor figures and visitor spend, among other barometers.

Benchmarks used by Resonance Consultancy, with locations in New York and Vancouver, include ratings of experiences published by travelers themselves, combined with core statistics for factors such as flight access and crime.

The company's new Caribbean Tourism Quality Index ranked destinations in 12 areas, including hotels, attractions, food and shopping. The top five Caribbean countries with the most quality tourism products and experiences per visitor were Turks and Caicos, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and Anguilla.

Las Vegas topped Priceline's list of the top five most popular U.S. destinations, followed by Orlando; New York; Orange County, Calif.; and San Diego, which replaced Miami in the No. 5 spot this year.

"The city to watch is Fort Lauderdale," according to Priceline. "It moved from No. 43 in 2013 to 12 in 2014."

The most popular honeymoon destinations, as ranked by the publication Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, are Nassau at the top followed by Orlando; Phuket, Thailand; Bali; England; Tahiti; Croatia; Kauai; Fiji; and Florence.

Kimberly Richmond, president of Runaway Bride Destination Weddings, a boutique company specializing in luxurious hideaways, said that Mexico is the clear winner in all things nuptial.

"The Riviera Maya continues to be the main destination that couples want, but I have seen interest and done weddings in San Miguel de Allende and the Pacific resort areas," Richmond said.

Another wedding destination that is growing in popularity is Ireland, according to Richmond. 


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