2016 Fastest-Growing Destinations: Travel to Alternative Destinations Surges, Says Squaremouth Report

Published by Steven Benna November 18, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG FL November 18, 2016 — Cuba and Iceland were the fastest-growing destinations for American travelers in 2016, highlighting a trend of larger numbers of travelers choosing alternative destinations, according to sales data from leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.

“The number of U.S. travelers buying travel insurance for trips to Cuba more than doubled this year,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “Overall, we’ve seen alternative destinations grow at a much faster rate than traditionally popular destinations like France and the United States.”

10 Fastest-Growing International Destinations for U.S. Travelers*

1. Cuba (153%)
2. Iceland (88%)
3. Canada (47%)
4. Japan (33%)
5. Belize (31%)
6. Thailand (31%)
7. Spain (28%)
8. Vietnam (26%)
9. South Africa (24%)
10. Ireland (24%)

*Fastest-growing international destinations for American travelers ranked by year-over-year growth from 2015 to 2016

Travel to Fastest-Growing Destinations Becomes More Affordable
Travel became more affordable for many of the 10 fastest-growing destinations in 2016.

  • Six of the top 10 fastest-growing destinations saw a year-over-year decrease in average trip cost
  • Despite being the fastest-growing destination, American travelers are spending less for trips to Cuba, with a 32% decrease in spending on summer trips
  • The average trip cost increased for Canada, the only fast-growing destination that is also among the top five most popular destinations
2016 Average Trip Cost YoY Change
Cuba $3,968 -9.3%
Iceland $3,528 +2.3%
Canada $2,679 +6.5%
Japan $3,187 -8.1%
Belize $2,685 -8.8%
Thailand $1,947 -12%
Spain $3,836 +0.3%
Vietnam $3,547 +7.1%
South Africa $7,715 -9.4%
Ireland $3,469 -2.9%


Sluggish Growth Among Traditionally Popular Destinations

As alternative destinations surge in popularity, traditionally popular destinations like the United States, the Bahamas, and France are stagnating.


Methodology: Data is based on the top 30 destinations for American customers insured on travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth prior to Nov. 10 of the respective year. Travelers who are visiting multiple countries only have to enter one destination when purchasing a policy on Squaremouth.com.

Related Report:
Travel Insurance Sales for Canada Spike in 2016


ABOUT SQUAREMOUTH

Squaremouth compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.