Spain and Portugal among those expected to do well
Iberian itineraries appear to be weighing on Canadian travel plans these days.
A random survey of travel agents suggests that Spain and Portugal will do well over the next 12 months, with those countries offering a combination of sunshine and culture.
“Spain, Portugal and Greece are on the rise,” states Sally Mikhail of GM Tours in Mississauga, Ont., while Rudolph Nareen of Astor Travels in Toronto in turn also suggests that both Portugal and Spain will make more inroads in the Canadian market, with one attribute shared by the bordering countries being inexpensive food. Drinks are also reasonably priced, he adds.
But Mikhail adds that Egypt and Jordan 2024 bookings are promising, despite the fighting in Gaza. And she says that other Middle Eastern and North African countries stand to do well as well.
Mikhail expects Oman and Dubai will see more Canadians, while other destinations have more recently become available for people in this country, noting Saudi Arabia and Qatar are welcoming us. Saudi efforts to attract tourists are a newish development.
Mikhail adds that Morocco is “still a bucket list” destination for many, adding the North African country has a “wealth of hospitality,” distinctive cuisine, Sahara desert landscapes, and intriguing architecture and history.
Monica Millin of Vancouver-area La Dolce Vita Travel has high hopes for different Mediterranean nations. “Here at La Dolce Vita Travel we are already seeing a huge demand for Italy — again— along with Croatia and Greece,” she reports. “I think 2024 will be even busier than 2023.”
Meanwhile, Nareen states that the airline industry has recovered strongly from Covid, a trend expected to continue in 2024. “Consumers that have the money will continue to spend on travel,” he continues.
Delores Frederiksen of CAA Atlantic in Saint John also sees reason to be upbeat about the coming 12 months.
“I believe 2024 will be the year that we will see people travel to the bucket list destinations that they have been chatting about for years,” she says. “I believe we will also see more people wanting to have the assurance that they have someone there for them if they need help along the way. This is where we will see the benefits of using travel agents and having travel insurance to protect you along the way.”
Caroline Mongrain of World Expeditions says it expects there will be plenty of energetic travellers in 2024: “World Expeditions has based its predictions on two major trends in the adventure travel market. The first is ‘stay longer and do more’ and includes the long-distance hiking trend that will likely remain for the foreseeable future. The second is ‘travel at your own pace’ with supported, self-guided adventures as the rising stars in that they offer a flexible approach to organized travel.”
Ethel Hansen Davey of Uniglobe Enterprise Travel in Toronto says the tail end of 2023 leads her to be optimistic.
“If November and December are any indication, then early 2024 should be very busy,” she says. “I love that people are calling, emailing and messaging me to get their travel arrangements started for the spring and summer of 2024. I think that they are finally understanding that last-minute is no longer the way to go.”