Travelers can't get enough of Italy. For the second year in a row, a survey of more than 31,000 past Globus and Cosmos travelers revealed that the number one destination of people's 2024 bucket list is Italy. The country fell short of last year's demand by just one percentage point, falling to 21% from 22% last year.
"Italy awes," said Steve Born, chief marketing officer for the Globus family of brands. "From Michelangelo's art to the artful cuisine throughout the country, Italy invites travelers to enjoy la dolce vita in every way."
Taking the second spot – also for the second year in a row – is Greece and Turkey, which fell three percentage points from 21% last year to 18% this year.
England, Ireland, and Scotland each grew by a percentage point. All were named by 14% of last year's respondents as their top destination; this year each snagged 15% of respondents.
Coming in fifth on the list is Portugal, with 11% of respondents saying the country is a must-visit for 2024.
Falling off the top five list is France, which last year snagged the travel desires of 15% of respondents. This year it didn't crack the top five spots.
Top motivators for travelers when picking their packaged tour are culture, history, and "must-see" landmarks. Additionally, nearly 45% of travelers are interested in getting off-the-beaten-path on their travels.
"There's an outdated belief that tour travelers are only interested in classic sites in bucket list cities," said Born. "Instead, our travelers want to walk along cobblestones less traveled and are using their tour as the way to get them to new, exciting and off-the-beaten-path places."
He added, "According to our survey, travelers want a mix of must-see sights and the opportunity to personalize their vacation. While 74% of guests treasure expert-guided sightseeing, that doesn't mean they don't also want the opportunity to tailor their trip to their interests. Most (92%) of tour travelers believe that having the opportunity to customize their vacation is important."
The survey also found that an interest in solo travel is growing. More than one-fourth of travelers (27%) said they plan to go solo on their next trips, which is double that of previous years.
"Those driven by wanderlust don't want to wait for the perfect traveling party to go on vacation," Born added. "Tours do that naturally, providing solos a 'nolo' experience: On your own but never alone."