American Express Travel Unveils Its Top Trending Travel Destinations for 2019


American Express Travel survey reveals travel trends for the New Year, including traveling with purpose, culinary tourism, and high touch + high tech service


November 15, 2018

With the New Year fast approaching, American Express Travel revealed the top trending travel destinations for 2019, based on its year-over-year (YOY) proprietary booking data:

  • Barcelona, Spain – Card Member travel up 26% YOY
  • Doha, Qatar – Card Member travel up 31% YOY
  • Hamburg, Germany – Card Member travel up 62% YOY
  • Marrakech, Morocco – Card Member travel up 89% YOY
  • New Zealand – Card Member travel up 25% YOY
  • Nassau, Bahamas – Card Member travel up 63% YOY
  • Savannah, Georgia, USA – Card Member travel up 96% YOY
  • Singapore – Card Member travel up 24% YOY
  • Tuscany, Italy – Card Member travel up 25% YOY
  • Washington DC, USA – Card Member travel up 21% YOY

“At American Express Travel, we know our customers don’t travel by coincidence; they travel with purpose. Our focus is to back them no matter where their journey takes them — from Doha to Nassau — helping them find the unexpected moments they are seeking,” said Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel. “Through the unique expertise of more than 5,000 trusted global travel consultants and Card Member benefits including Fine Hotels & Resorts, The Hotel Collection and The Global Dining Collection, we help our customers explore the world in an authentic, elevated way.”


When analyzing the motivation behind travel, one thing is clear: People are booking trips with a specific purpose in mind. According to a new survey* commissioned by American Express Travel, 68% of consumers say they prefer travel experiences that offer a deeper sense of meaning. From voluntourism to learning a new language, to immersing oneself in a culinary cultural moment, travelers are seeking out unique experiences that help them get to know a local culture in new ways.

Additionally, more travelers than ever are seeking out authentic, local cuisine and are planning their trips specifically to incorporate culinary experiences, with more than 3 in 4 respondents (79%) considering dining experiences — including trying new food — to be an important part of a vacation.

“Authenticity is one of the most talked-about trends in travel, as consumers pivot to traveling like a local,” Hendley said. “As globalization increases through social media and streaming culinary travel shows, consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with different food cultures and they want to experience the local gastronomy scene.”


According to the survey, two other trends are likely to affect travel in 2019. By nearly 2:1, respondents said they prefer a travel platform that integrates technology and travel booking experts compared to a traditional travel agency where you visit in person (65% vs. 35%). Finally, there is an increasing number of travelers looking for unforgettable luxury travel moments, including exclusive perks and upgrades in the world’s finest hotels, for an extraordinary vacation. According to the survey, 87% of respondents say that free hotel upgrades are considered the most universally useful benefit in aiding with travel.

*Morning Consult, on behalf of American Express Travel, conducted a public opinion survey from November 6-7, 2018. The survey’s findings are based on responses from a sampling of 2,000 U.S. consumers who have traveled in the past twelve months. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


Top emerging travel destinations selected are based on proprietary American Express Travel 2018 booking data.


American Express Travel is a global full-service travel and lifestyle services provider. For over 100 years, American Express has helped passionate travelers customize and enhance their trip experience through world-class service, exclusive programs and premium benefits. Customers have many options for accessing these services and can travel with confidence, whether booking online at or speaking with travel and lifestyle experts directly.

Media Contact

Jane Di Leo

About American Express

American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at, and connect with us on,,,, and

Get alerts delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up
Business Wire NewsHQsm