Cuba Tops Canadian Travel Bucket List

by Richard D’Ambrosio
Cuba Tops Canadian Travel Bucket List

Havana is currently very popular with Canadians. Photo: Lagaly de


Interest in visiting Havana has skyrocketed 230% with Canadians, possibly due to last year’s opening of Cuba to American tourists, said KAYAK in its just released Top Ten Trending Destinations of the Year.

“Canadians have always had a love for the historic tourist destination known for its cigars and famous vintage cars,” KAYAK said in a press release. “Get there fast before Americans are allowed to start vacationing there, which will likely drive up costs and crowds.”

Norman Payne, an Ottawa-based agent who books both American and Canadian clients to Cuba, said that so far, “there has been no deluge [of Americans] as some predicted, and no swamping of Cuba as some feared. In my opinion Cuba, there is hardly any difference from any other Caribbean island where Americans outnumber, or are equal to or slightly less than, all the other visitors from Canada and Europe combined.”

Payne pointed out that when you have thousands of Americans traveling and that number increases by 80%, you are still looking at only hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cuba—compared to the million- plus Canadians who traveled there last year. “Anyone who wishes to go should be encouraged to do so regardless of their nationality. Cubans, as most others, see Americans as friendly, open, optimistic, curious, ready to help and quite accommodating!”

Reykjavik took second in KAYAK'S Top Trending Destinations list for Canadians with a 116% increase in searches compared to 2015, and Rio de Janeiro’s revival continues from last year’s summer Olympics, with a 77% bounce this year over 2016.

"Havana has seen an amazing amount of renewed interest,” said David Solomito, KAYAK vice president of North America marketing, “as has Reykjavik, but there are some exciting additions to the list—like Casablanca, Auckland and Manila—proving long distance isn't necessarily a variable when booking a trip."

Another popular destination is Nashville, TN, which saw a 43% increase in searches among Canadian travelers. Canadians also are interested in visiting less-frequented destinations this year, like Casablanca, Manila, Auckland and New Delhi, which all experienced 30%+ increases in searches.

Meanwhile, Canadian interest in a number of other destinations has dropped substantially, KAYAK said. Osaka, the top trending destination last year, saw a 41% decrease in searches this year, while crises in Istanbul contributed to a 31% decline in interest in the Turkish city. “Florida may also see fewer Canadians,” KAYAK said.

KAYAK compared searches between Sept. 1, 2015, and Dec. 1, 2016, on ca.kayak.com, for travel between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016, with the corresponding periods for 2016 and 2017.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Best Cities for Live Music

1. Minneapolis, MN.

2. Memphis, TN.

3. Asheville, NC.

4. Athens, GA.

5. Nashville, TN.

Source: Thrillist

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=f4110212-8683-e811-853f-782bcb667b27

Premium Versus Ultra-Luxury Cruise: Breaking Down the Difference

The definition of all-inclusive takes on new meaning when it comes to ultra-luxury cruise ships. Here are insights from agents who sell them as to how and why they stand out.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Shared Economy Services May Be Losing Their Popularity
Shared Economy Services May Be Losing Their Popularity

After three years of growing popularity, services like Airbnb and Uber may have reached a plateau in their likeliness to be booked by travelers.

Could Trade War Lead to Fewer Canadians Vacationing in U.S.?
Could Trade War Lead to Fewer Canadians Vacationing in U.S.?

In the press and on social media, Canadians are considering boycotting leisure travel to the U.S. in response to tariffs being imposed on Canadian products.

Specializing in Asia Could Be Lucrative for Your Travel Agency
Specializing in Asia Could Be Lucrative for Your Travel Agency

Travel industry experts believe Canadian agents can build a strong niche business focusing on Asia as a destination.

Increased Education and Certification Could Increase Travel Agent Sales
Increased Education and Certification Could Increase Travel Agent Sales

Agents with higher sales revenues have taken the time for and made an investment in advanced training, educational institute says.

Travel Insurance May Not Cover High-Altitude Treks to Kilimanjaro, Everest
Travel Insurance May Not Cover High-Altitude Treks to Kilimanjaro, Everest

That travel insurance company your client loves so much may not cover their hike to Machu Picchu and other high-altitude treks.

Travel Agents Don’t Have to Go it Alone in a Crisis
Travel Agents Don’t Have to Go it Alone in a Crisis

Medical and emergency experts reminded travel advisors attending Travel MarketPlace East that there are numerous resources available to help their traveling clients if a crisis arises.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line