Cruises Dominate Top Spot in both Domestic and International Travel Categories in 2018 Travel Leaders Group Travel Trends Survey

For the first time, Alaska cruises ranked number one among domestic vacations in annual survey among 1,300-plus travel agents from one of North America’s largest travel agency companies

New York, NY (March 14, 2018) — Alaska cruises significantly edged out Orlando and Las Vegas to take the number one spot for most booked domestic vacation for the very first time within the annual Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group, one of North America’s largest travel agency companies, which encompasses more than 50,000 travel agents across the continent.

Caribbean cruises maintained the top spot for international travel with European river cruises coming in third, having moved up one spot from the number four position last year. Mediterranean cruises ranked fourth most popular in the international category, a significant jump from the number eight spot in 2017. Cancun holds the number two spot for international travel.

More than 1,300 travel agents participated in the annual Travel Trends Survey, which provides an authoritative barometer for what consumers from across North America are booking most frequently.

“Cruises are continuing to soar as a popular vacation choice for North Americans,” said Ninan Chacko,  CEO of Travel Leaders Group. “More and more consumers are recognizing the ease, value and extraordinary experiences a cruise vacation can provide, not only for fun in the sun but also the opportunity to see some truly extraordinary parts of the world. Those can range from the stunning glaciers and wildlife of Alaska to the amazing history, architecture and charm of Europe to the awe-inspiring culture, landscapes and temples of Asia.”

Chacko added, “The results of our annual trends survey come from booking data provided by thousands of our travel agent professionals who are actively booking vacations on a daily basis and are at the forefront of where consumers are currently vacationing.”

Other notable cruise-related results within the survey include:

  • Consumers expressing interest in visiting Cuba by cruise ship jumped nearly 10 percentage points from 31.1 percent in 2018 versus 21.6 percent in 2017
  • When asked to rank which one cruising region is being booked the most for 2018, Alaska cruises came out on top, followed by the western Caribbean, European river cruises, eastern Caribbean, Mediterranean and southern Caribbean, in that order
  • Forty-one percent of survey respondents who are booking Mediterranean cruises indicated an increase in those itineraries versus last year
  • Thirty-one percent of respondents saw an increase in European river cruise bookings and a 24 percent increase in all other types of river cruise business
  • With respect to Caribbean cruises, 14.8 percent stated that bookings are up over last year and 52.8 percent said they are about the same
  • Thirty percent of respondents who book cruises indicated an increase in reservations for suites versus last year

Among the most common questions asked by consumers related to cruise bookings, the subject of shore excursions and what to do in port came in at number one, with a whopping 72 percent of respondents citing it as a top question. Other high-ranking subjects included shipboard activities, attire, pre and post-cruise travel and shipboard specialty restaurants, all underscoring a strong desire on the part of consumers to seek counsel from their travel advisors during the planning process.

Based on actual booking data, Travel Leaders Group’s survey was conducted over two months from December 20, 2017-February 19, 2018, with responses from 1,355 North American-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand and Travel Leaders Group’s All Aboard Travel, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, and Tzell Travel Group units.

Travel Leaders Group, one of North America’s largest travel companies, is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel and consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.

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About Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group ( is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients through our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers, Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands, including All Aboard Travel, ALTOUR, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, CruCon, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group. With over 7,000 agency locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest traditional travel agency companies.

2018: Year of the Travel Agent
Travel Leaders Group has named 2018 Year of the Travel Agent. Over the last decade, the travel agency industry has flourished through technology, the growth of travel options and personalized service. Travel Leaders Group represents more than 50,000 travel agents with unmatched expertise in 135,000 destinations and 53,000 areas of interest. Travelers and suppliers have rediscovered the value a professional travel advisor delivers to the travel experience. Travel agents help to move people around the world, and keep our economy growing.