The hot-spots in 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Alicante - still likely to be a hot sport in 2015

Alicante – still likely to be a hot sport in 2015

Everybody gets in the act these days of forecasting where we might holiday, where the “hot-spots” will be, what’s up-and-coming and where will be the most popular. It is all bit like winning the Derby. Unless you have the favourite, Spain, the odds are stacked against you. But that doesn’t stop organisations trying and destinations jumping on the wagon and pointing out that they have been selected by so-and-so newspaper, magazine or website.

ABTA, in its forecast for 2015 says that their research suggests that 20% of us will spend more on holidays next year than we did in this one. Those aged 25-34 are even more confident with 30% of them saying that they will spend more. Just over a third of their respondents say that they will visit a new country ie one that they had not holidayed in before. But you should remember that this research was conducted during the early summer. Attitudes may have changed since then and we might be feeling more or less confident about our spending abilities.

Even prestigious magazines get in on the act. The American magazine, Forbes, tips Iceland, Morocco, Vietnam, America, Tasmania, Colombia, Japan, Argentina, Nepal and Sri Lanka for 2015. Here at Just about Travel, we aren’t immune to this traditional Dec ember crystal-ball gazing. We poll our writers and see what they suggest and you’ll see that next week.

Sri Lanka - suggested by two companies as a hot-spot

Sri Lanka – suggested by two companies as a hot-spot

But what are travel organisations forecasting for 2015? We look at the thoughts of four of them; one that is provides up-market holidays, a more-mainstream provider, a new entrant into the UK and, finally, a provider of coach and escorted touring holidays

Other organisations making their “hot” picks for 2015 include Cox & Kings, the world’s longest established (founded 1758) travel company. They suggest Sri Lanka, Colombia, Oman and Romania. Sri Lanka is selected because it offers excellent value for money, its stable politically now and in a relatively small country there is a lot to see. It selects Colombia because it is still relatively untouched by mass tourism and because it has such a diverse mix of sights, culture and scenery. Oman joins the list because it offers virtually guaranteed sunshine and the fact that it is one of  the least visited countries in the region despite one of the prettiest and “authentic.” The list is wrapped up with some may see as an odd choice, Romania. The reason? It is a less well known part of Europe but one with enormous potential for cultural tourism possessing seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The biggest tour operator in the UK – TUI which owns Thomson and First Choice – has been talking to the travel trade press and says that Spain, Greece and Turkey remain firm favourites but it is also suggesting some new destinations could feature in a big way – largely because Thomson has larger capacity airlines flying there and needs to fill seats. These include Costa Rica, Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao all in central America and the Caribbean as well as Goa in India. Croatia, Mykonos, Santorini, Cyprus and Ibiza are also their tips for short-haul holidays.

Outside, destinations, they think that mobile technology will became more widespread as people use smart phone and watch apps to research destinations and then use mobile devices to book holidays.

Vietnam which is also suggested by two companies

Vietnam which is also suggested by two companies

The Travel Corporation, whose brands include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Contiki Holidays, has a much longer list of suggestions and starts with The Travel Corporation, whose brands include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Contiki Holidays, has a much longer list of suggestions all of which are connected with anniversaries. It starts with Washington DC as next year is the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and also the end of the American Civil War.  Lonely Planet also named the city as its top city destination for 2015. Its second choice is India largely because next year sees the release of the film “the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and it thinks people will want to see the film locations. They also choose Vietnam as did Cox & Kings but for a different reason. Next year is the 40th anniversary of the ending of the Vietnamese war. Another US destination, Hawaii, is their fourth choice because another Jurassic park film is due for release. This film, Jurassic World, was filmed on the island of Kauai. They pick the “Deep South,” the US states of Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina for their only other US choice and not because of an anniversary but because it is more accessible due to the fact that Virgin Atlantic will be starting a service to Atlanta next year..

Croatia has been tipped by the writers on Just about Travel for the last two years and its popularity has soared. The Travel Corporation also tips it but rather than concentrating on its scenery, beaches, islands, heritage, cuisine or mountains opts instead for the fact that Game of Thrones had many scenes filmed in Dubrovnik. Returning to the anniversary theme, Turkey, Poland and Austria complete the European nations in the list. Turkey joins because of the 100th anniversary of the campaign at Gallipoli and for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps such as Auschwitz. A much happier event is the anniversary chosen by the company for Austria – the release of the film The Sound of Music fifty years ago. Japan is their final choice, not for an anniversary or for the culture and scenery but for the ending of a 66 year old law prohibiting late night dancing!

and Croatia- tipped regularly for the last couple of years

and Croatia- tipped regularly for the last couple of years

The tips by Jet2 Holidays are based on booking figures to date with comparisons with the numbers for this year.  The first finding suggests that we have more money to spend or, at least, feeling more confident about spending money. They are seeing a a 78 per cent increase in Family Luxury breaks and a 31 per cent increase, year on year, in their Luxe Collection bookings. Although the Balearics, Canaries and Costa del Sol remain popular the destinations showing the greatest percentage increase in bookings are in Croatia. Split is up by 180% and Pula by 76%. Elsewhere, that old favourite, Corfu, is up by 62%. Two old favourites also appear in the list of short break destinations. Prague has been the most popular city to date, closely followed by Budapest, which has seen year on year sales grow 46 per cent. The New York shopping breaks have been hugely successful once again, with bookings from Leeds Bradford in particular up by 10 per cent.

As I said earlier, we’ll have our own writer’s tips for 2015 next week.

 

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