American Express reveals top 2023 travel destinations

Aerial view of Bodrum on Turkish Riviera.

As the year comes to an end, vacations are still very much on the mind of Canadian and global travellers, and American Express (Amex) has revealed the most popular 2024 travel destinations.

One trend that’s evident in the list of trending destinations is that travellers, particularly Millennial and Gen Z travellers, are “putting an emphasis on adventure and new experiences.”

“People are looking for new experiences and to immerse themselves in the local culture when they travel,” a statement from Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel, reads.

“Whether you crave a new adventure or just want to beat the crowds, this list is a great place for every type of traveller to find their next vacation destination. Through our Travel Consultants’ expertise and extensive knowledge, we can help find the perfect place to stay, fastest way to get there, and the best local activities to create an incredible trip.”

The top 2024 travel destinations, identified by global American Express Cardmember travel bookings, are:

  • Adelaide Hills, Australia

  • Bodrum, Turkey

  • Porto Cervo, Italy

  • St. Kitts and Nevis

  • Niseko, Japan

  • San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  • Santa Fe, U.S.

  • Seychelles

  • Udaipur, India

  • Zermatt, Switzerland

Views of hills and vineyards, green fields where sheeps use to feed. Cloudy sky and warm light at sunset time. Barossa valley, South Australia

Views of hills and vineyards, green fields where sheeps use to feed. Cloudy sky and warm light at sunset time. Barossa valley, South Australia

Adelaide Hills, Australia

An alternative to the popular Blue Mountains in Australia, Adelaide Hills is a great “rural retreat.”

It features winding roads around vineyards and bushland, and it’s a great place for nature hikes, where travellers can see a koalas in the wild.

Stay at the Mount Lofty House Boutique Estate, a residence built in 1952, which overlooks the Piccadilly Valley.

Bodrum, Turkey

While Istanbul has been a bustling, popular travel destination in Turkey, Bodrum is a great option to have that travel experience on a smaller scale.

Sometimes referred to as “Little Istanbul,” Bodrum, a city of 50,000, has bazaars, nightlife and beaches on the Aegean.

Stay at the Mandarin Oriental on Paradise Bay, for a luxurious experience with two private beaches, or The Bodrum EDITION in the Turkish Riviera, with a private beach club and jetty.

View of harbor and village Porto Cervo, Sardinia island, Italy

View of harbor and village Porto Cervo, Sardinia island, Italy

Porto Cervo, Italy

If you’ve had your eye on the Amalfi Coast, Porto Cervo in Italy, on the island of Sardinia, is an “exclusive” alternative.

Located between Europe and North Africa, travellers can experience rocky coastlines and a yacht-filled harbour.

Stay at Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda, which overlooks the white-sand beaches.

Nevis Peak extinct volcano viewed from lake, with hoouses, palm trees and puffy cloud at peak, Nevis

Nevis Peak extinct volcano viewed from lake, with hoouses, palm trees and puffy cloud at peak, Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis

Instead of the popular St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis offers a great alternative for a sunny getaway.

St. Kitts is the busier location, while Nevis is more low-key with lots of great nature to experience, with not even a traffic light in sight. St. Kitts has “the Strip” on Frigate Bay, with oceanfront bars and restaurants, and the 36-square-mile island of Nevis just a ferry ride away.

Stay at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis on Pinney’s Beach, or Golden Rock Inn, a former sugar estate located 1,000 feet above the sea.

NISEKO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 22, 2017 : Aerial view at dusk of night skiing in Niseko Village. Niseko is a popular destination for ski resorts in Japan

NISEKO, JAPAN – DECEMBER 22, 2017 : Aerial view at dusk of night skiing in Niseko Village. Niseko is a popular destination for ski resorts in Japan

Niseko, Japan

For a snowy getaway, anyone who loves Sapporo should head to Niseko in Japan. There are more than 2,000 skiable acres and going off-piste is encouraged.

Stay at the Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, or The Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz Carlton Reserve, located at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Riviera Maya in Mexico is a go-to destination for many, but in 2024 travel inland to San Miguel de Allende, one of the world’s most colourful cities.

Featuring colonial Spanish architecture, take in the historic buildings, cobblestone streets and experience the regular art workshops that happen in the city.

Stay at Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende in the centre of the city, or Hotel Matilda with beautifully manicured gardens.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

Santa Fe, U.S.

An alternative to Sedona’s rocky landscape is Sant Fe, New Mexico, at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with Pueblo-style architecture.

Stay at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, on over 300 acres bordering Santa Fe National Forest, or Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe, steps from historic Santa Fe Plaza.

Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue Seychelles, a young couple of men and women on a tropical beach during a luxury vacation in Seychelles. Tropical beach Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue Seychelles

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue Seychelles, a young couple of men and women on a tropical beach during a luxury vacation in Seychelles. Tropical beach Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue Seychelles

Seychelles

The Seychelles is a great 2024 alternative to a Maldives vacation, located about 1,000 miles off the coast of Kenya.

Crystal waters and white-sand beaches are some of the world’s best, also with opportunities for great rainforest hikes.

Stay at Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts on the coastline, or Raffles Seychelles on the northeastern slopes of Praslin Island, looking out at Curieuse Island.

City Palace and Pichola lake in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, Asia

City Palace and Pichola lake in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, Asia

Udaipur, India

If Agra is on your bucket list, Udaipur in India, a city of lakes and palaces, is a magical alternative.

“The white city” is the palace complex, with granite-and-marble riot of cupolas and balconies.

Stay at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, built in 1746 and appears to float in the middle of Lake Pichola, or The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, with 50 acres of private courtyards.

Matterhorn mountain and swiss alps at sunrise in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Matterhorn mountain and swiss alps at sunrise in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Instead of flocking to the Italian ski destination of Dolomites, Zermatt in Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn, is full of businesses that have been run by families for generations.

It’s also a car-free town, where you either walk around or move through the town in electric taxis and buses.

Stay at Mont Cervin Palace, a chalet-style hotel, or Schweizerhof Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn.