According to Travelport, a travel technology company that analyzes booking data, Mexico had the most bookings from United States travelers from October through January. In October alone, that number totals almost 195,000 bookings, a 3.7 percent rise, compared with last October.
On the popular Riviera Maya, the wellness focused resort Chable Maroma, the second location of the Chable brand (the first is in the Yucatán), just opened, and in the spring break destination Cabo San Lucas, the addition of several new and anticipated resorts including Chileno Bay Resort & Residences and the Montage Los Cabos, is extending that area’s attraction beyond the beer pong crowd.
European River Cruises
River cruising isn’t only for the summer: thanks to a spate of new river cruise ships and new itineraries from lines like Crystal Cruises, AmaWaterways, Viking River Cruises and Uniworld, the pastime has taken off in Europe during the fall and winter, too. Ensemble, for one, reported a 20 percent increase in sales of river cruises for the two seasons this year, compared with last year.
Crystal has 21 new Christmas markets and holidays voyages this year between its five riverboats. One example is the 10-day Rhine Christmas Markets, from Dec. 17 to 27, which starts in Amsterdam and includes stops in markets in Cologne and Koblenz, Germany, before ending in Basel, Switzerland. The trip will set you back around $6,100 a person — though all your alcoholic drinks, food and tips are included.
Demand for Kenya vacations was tepid for several years because of the country’s political unrest and fears over Ebola. But with those concerns somewhat eased, it’s now a hot ticket destination for American travelers. Travelport reported a 28.8 percent increase for December 2018 bookings to Kenya, compared to 2017, and ForwardKeys reported a 27.2 percent increase in bookings from mid-September through December. Andy Pesky, the senior vice president of leisure sales and marketing at Protravel said that his company has recorded around $8 million in winter bookings to Kenya, a 10 percent jump from last year.
Experts said that a big reason for the increase is the October debut of the nonstop Kenya Airways flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Nairobi. “You’re saving more than five hours of travel time and don’t have to deal with a layover,” said Christine Alestra, the director of destination partnerships for Signature.