Virtuoso Reveals Where Upscale Canadians Are Heading This Summer

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Barbados tops the 'Hot List' of destinations with the biggest increase in bookings by Canadians for summer, according to Virtuoso agent data.

Canadians are setting their sights for high-end travel this summer on emerging destinations all over the world, according to a new analysis from global luxury travel network Virtuoso. The group has examined its data warehouse of C$66.8 billion in bookings to forecast where upscale Canadians are venturing this summer. 

The Virtuoso Top 10:

The most popular destinations for the summer of 2019 according to bookings.


  1. Canada                                          
  2. United Kingdom                           
  3. United States                                
  4. Italy                                              
  5. France                                           
  6. Germany
  7. Spain
  8. Greece
  9. Israel
  10. Portugal


The Top 10 Analysis: As Canadians plan their summer getaways, many are opting to explore their own country, placing it in the number-one position. Others are venturing south of the border for everything from amusement parks to national parks, as the U.S. took third place. 

Europe, always a Canadian favourite, claims seven spots in the Top 10. History, culture, cuisine, familial roots and abundant luxury offerings make Europe a preferred option for upscale travellers. Notably, Spain vaults onto the list for the first time in almost two years, as it offers better value compared to other spots in Western Europe. 

The Virtuoso Hot 10:

The countries that have experienced the largest year-over-year percentage increases in summer bookings.

  1. Barbados (+287%)                        
  2. South Korea (+237%)                   
  3. Singapore (+148%)                       
  4. Indonesia (+143%)                       
  5. Turkey (+88%)                             
  6. Peru (+82%)
  7. Japan (+48%)
  8. Sweden (+19%)
  9. Switzerland (+18%)
  10. Spain (+12%)

The Hot 10 Analysis: Couples and families seeking summer sun-and-sand relaxation are heading to two distinct destinations in growing numbers: Barbados and Indonesia. South Korea’s appealing combination of history, culture, gastronomy and modern amenities is drawing travellers. Pop culture tourism is fueling interest in Singapore, the setting for the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians.” 

As interest in Middle Eastern and North Africa destinations returns, Turkey takes fifth place. Peru, famed for Machu Picchu, is increasingly building a reputation as a luxury destination, with its growing culinary scene, wellness treatments based on indigenous traditions, upscale sleeper train service, and hotels set in former palaces. 

Data is sourced from Virtuoso’s Canadian travel agency members and includes travel for June, July and August 2019.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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