Travel Aspirations Go Global: As Revealed by VIRTUOSO LIFE Magazine's Annual "Travel Dreams" Survey

Jun 29, 2010, 11:00 ET from Virtuoso

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2010, travel aspirations have gone global, according to the results from the fourth annual Travel Dreams Sweepstakes Survey, presented by leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso®. Nearly 11,000 readers of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network's award-winning magazine, weighed in on the survey to reveal the exotic lands, life-changing experiences and thrilling adventures that upscale travelers are currently seeking.

When asked what they consider the trip of a lifetime, readers were clear that setting sail for a world cruise would be a paramount experience. Calling on all seven continents and visiting the new wonders of the world followed close behind as trips of a lifetime, indicating the desire of travelers to visit the globe. The Galapagos Islands also had a strong presence in this year's results: This island destination was named the most alluring island escape; the second best outdoor adventure; and the third best destination for families.

"This year's survey results reflect a shift in consumers' motivation to travel," said Elaine Srnka, editorial director for VIRTUOSO LIFE. "Travelers want to see the world. They are no longer content with staying in one place. Whether it's visiting the far corners of the earth on a world cruise, hiking through remote Machu Picchu or tasting local cuisine through cooking schools, travelers want unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

The top 10 dream destinations also reflected readers' longing to visit far-off lands, with Australia, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Greece nabbing the first five spots. Paris held onto its reign as the most romantic city to spend time with a loved one, as well as the best gourmet city. Rome remains the city with the most beautiful architecture, and Tuscany continues to be the wine region travelers want to toast the most. Again this year, readers felt going on a safari to Africa would merit the best outdoor adventure.

The Travel Dreams results largely supported Virtuoso's 2010 Luxe Report, insight gleaned from the network's elite travel advisors, which revealed that travelers in 2010 are booking longer vacations to more distant destinations. Of the travel professionals that participated in the Luxe Report survey, 71 percent reported that clients are seeking international travel for 10 days or more.

This year, readers had extra enticement to share their opinions: an opportunity to win their own dream trip!  Three lucky winners got to choose one of these trips: a ten-day exploration of the Galapagos Islands aboard Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Endeavour; a 12-day cruise aboard the Seabourn Pride from Bangkok to Shanghai; or a trip to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic Airways to spend five nights at the One&Only Cape Town.

VIRTUOSO LIFE's Travel Dreams survey was designed to gather consumer travel trends and offer inspiration for future journeys. The 12-question survey explored readers' opinions about everything from their dream destinations and the best cities for dining to the best destinations for romance and families.  Top-line results can be found below, and the results are featured in the July/August issue of VIRTUOSO LIFE.

To view a digital edition of the VIRTUOSO LIFE July/August "Readers' Choice Travel Dreams" issue, click cover image below.    

My Trip of a Lifetime

1. Setting Sail for a World Cruise  

2. Calling on all Seven Continents

3. Visiting all Seven New Wonders of the World

4. Sailing the Mediterranean on a Private Yacht

5. Renting a European Villa

6. Communing with Nature in the Galapagos

7. Photographing the 'big five' on African Safari

8. Renting a private island

9. Blasting off on a Virgin Galactic flight

10. Seeing the pyramids of Egypt

Top 10 Dream Destinations

1. Australia

2. Italy

3. New Zealand

4. South Africa

5. Greece

6. French Polynesia

7. Caribbean

8. France

9. Thailand

10. Antarctica

The Most Alluring Island Escape

1. Galapagos Islands

2. Greek Isles

3. Hawaiian Islands

4. Fiji

5. French Polynesia

6. Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia

7. Seychelles

8. Bay of Islands, New Zealand

9. Bali

10. Maldives

Best Outdoor Adventures

1. Go on safari in Africa

2. Get back to nature in the Galapagos Islands

3. Take a walking tour of Italy

4. Sail the Caribbean

5. Hike Machu Picchu

Perfect Family Destination

1. Hawaiian Islands

2. Caribbean

3. Galapagos Islands

4. Italy

5. Ireland

Most Romantic City

1. Paris

2. Venice

3. Santorini, Greece

4. Rome

5. Florence

Best Education Trip

1. Cooking School

2. Archaeological Exploration

3. Historical Pilgrimage

4. Photography Instruction

5. Foreign Language Immersion

Most Gourmet Cities

1. Paris

2. Rome

3. Florence

4. New York City

5. New Orleans

Most Enticing Cruise Itinerary

1. World Cruise

2. Mediterranean

3. Alaska

4. Australia/New Zealand

5. Caribbean

City with Most Stunning Architecture

1. Rome

2. Saint Petersburg, Russia

3. Barcelona

4. Prague

5. Dubai

The Wine Region I Most Want to Toast

1. Tuscany, Italy

2. Bordeaux, France

3. Napa Valley, California

4. Champagne, France

5. Loire Valley, France

The survey results were tallied from responses from almost 11,000 VIRTUOSO LIFE readers who participated in the Travel Dreams Sweepstakes. Virtuoso promoted the sweepstakes via email and within the magazine.

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SOURCE Virtuoso