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ceo on the go blog

CEO on the Go: Trending Destinations & More!

NicoleD
by Nicole Diebold

January 17, 2018

4 minute read

In the first of a 12-part series, we’re sitting down with our busy President and CEO, Dan Sullivan, Jr., to learn about all things travel from the passionate world adventurer at the helm of a 100-year-old family owned company. With over 150 days on the road each year, and recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Travel Weekly, Dan clearly has plenty to share with us from his more than forty years of journeys and experiences. Stay tuned each month to hear his thoughts on everything from hot new tourism trends to his favorite travel moments and even the best exotic cuisine found around the world.

What destinations are trending right now?

Iceland, Japan and Ireland are all destinations that are showing tremendous growth and popularity. America’s National Parks and the Canadian Rockies tour have always been favorites for our guests as well as Italy, which right now is surging back.

Which tour are you most excited about this year?

Our tour to Japan is amazing and the destination is just surging. The food is great, from the freshest sushi you’ll ever have to world-famous Japanese beef. On our tour, we take you through the history of the samurai and the geishas. You cross the Japanese Alps, visit the thermal spas, and take the bullet train to visit Hiroshima. And Tokyo and Kyoto are great cities to explore. It’s a tour that has it all.

You traveled to Colombia recently. What were some of your favorite highlights?

I went there with my daughter and we were blown away by its beauty. When you go to the capital city of Bogota, there’s this cool mix of sophistication and great cuisine. What stood out to me was this sense of quiet charm and lively culture – from the plantations of the coffee growing regions to Medellín, where you find the beautiful Commune 13, which at one time was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Its transformation is one of the biggest turn arounds ever. Now, beauty and fascinating artwork are what it’s known for. The city is surrounded by one of the biggest flower-growing districts in the world. Santa Elena and Santa Catalina Island are worth exploring; they are some of the most stunning and historic seaside towns in all of the Americas. Colombia is full of surprises.

You went to Barcelona recently. What were some highlights from that trip?

It was a great trip and I got to experience it with my wife and daughter. Barcelona stands out because of the unique buildings and cathedrals that Gaudi designed. One of the highlights of our trip was a cooking class we took. First, we shopped the markets for local ingredients, then we returned for the class. It was great immersion with locals. We shopped with them, cooked with them, and got to know them and really learned what cooking these local dishes entails. I didn’t know how to make ceviche before, but now I feel like an expert. These are the kinds of immersive experiences everyone is looking for right now.

What destination is on your bucket list?

Morocco is definitely a place that’s on the bucket list. I’ve been to all 7 continents and seen so much of the world. Often I revisit favorite destinations like Ireland or Australia, but I still have a pretty good list of places I haven’t had a chance to explore yet. Morocco comes to mind because of the booming culture and beauty of cities of Fes, Marrakech and Rabat and the diversity you experience when you leave the cities and find the deserts and mountains. The local culture goes back centuries. It presents such an array of potential experiences… I just need to figure out when to get there!

Come back next month for more CEO on the Go! Dan will be talking about the changes the travel industry has seen over the last 50 years. How would you have gone about seeing your dream destination 50 years ago compared to today? The answer will definitely surprise you!

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