More industry tips for 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Puerta Vallarta in Mexico

Puerta Vallarta in Mexico

A few days ago, we ran through some of the forecasts being made by the travel industry.  Since then Just about Travel has received more crystal-ball gazing so, before we run our thoughts in two days’ time, here is a round-up from some other organisations.

Hayes and Jarvis are long distance specialists and it pinpoints Mexico as a country to watch since bookings rose by 89% last year. And now with direct links to the resorts around Puerta Vallarta, surely numbers will continue to rise. Their other tips are existing favourites; New York, Maldives, Las Vegas and Thailand. The operator is predicting that the destinations to watch are Costa Rica,, Tanzania and South Africa, Bermuda, Hawaii and Abu Dhabi.

Another long-haul specialist is Audley Travel which focuses for their tips on just two places, Uruguay and Hawaii. They suggest Uruguay (about which Anna-Maria wrote a number of articles for us this year) for its vineyards, beaches, colonial heritage and outdoor pursuits. That it is a cheaper alternative to Argentina – and smaller so it is easier to get around and see more – will help. Their other choice, Hawaii, is picked because of an upturn in interest and because there are smaller islands which are quite different from the main tourist spots.

Staying with the US for a moment, an organisation called USTOA, the United States Tour Operators Association, which has polled its members to see where they think the hot spots will be in 2015. The reason that we have included their thoughts is because it gives a guide as to what places might be tempting our tour operators in the future.

They forecast that the top places to consider are Myanmar (formerly, Burma) Cuba, Croatia, Iceland, India, Peru, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Panama. Cuba has been high on destination lists over here for some time as there are good transport links to the country, it is widely available from tour operators and it is inexpensive compared to some Caribbean destinations. For Americans who have until recently been unable to easily travel there, I think you can expect its popularity to rise, perhaps to where it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

As you can see Croatia, a persistent tip and one of the fastest growing destinations is on the list as well with Iceland being the only other country to make the list.

But this list doesn’t necessarily affect what Americans are booking. That list is, in order, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Peru, France, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Vietnam. There hasn’t been much change in the list for many years reflecting as it does many old favourites just as if you asked our travel agents what is the most popular destination and the answer would be Spain.

Vietnam appears on many hot-tip lists

Vietnam appears on many hot-tip lists

Interestingly, their list varies if you base it on the where they made the most money in 2014.  Then the list alters to Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, France, Italy United Kingdom, Aruba, Bahamas, Germany and Costa Rica.

When polled about the type of holidays that sell, 71% of their members identified art and culture related holidays and then family/multi-generational ones as the leaders in bookings followed by culinary and adventure holidays.  Over here, beach holidays would be high on the list but maybe USTOA included those in family holidays.

Be aware though that the largest group of bookers amongst USTOA members were over 50’s whereas in our countries the profile would be younger and therefore choices would be different as well.

For the last few years the biggest holiday growth area has been in cruising. From Cruise Critic, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, their forecast highlights the ever-growing supremacy of Southampton which has become the  busiest port, not only in the UK but also in Europe. A further three cruise ships will be based there for 2015. They also suggest that cruise companies are catering more for singles and those with dietary requirements so more imaginative dishes will be available to travelers than the salad or nut roast alternatives so beloved of comedians.  Some cruise lines are also linking in with well-known chefs and TV programmes to increase their appeal to potential passengers and to differentiate themselves from other cruise companies.

They also forecast  that the ever-growing supremacy of Southampton which has become the  busiest port, not only in the UK but also in Europe, will continue to grow.  A further three cruise ships will be based there for 2015. They also suggest that cruise companies are catering more for singles and those with dietary requirements so more imaginative dishes will be available to travelers than the salad or nut roast alternatives so beloved of comedians.  Some cruise lines are also linking in with well-known chefs and TV programmes to increase their appeal to potential passengers and to differentiate themselves from other cruise companies.

P&O's Arcadia in the Caribbean. Will cruising continue to grow?

P&O’s Arcadia in the Caribbean. Will cruising continue to grow?

Entertainment is another feature that Cruise Critic says is being used to differentiate cruise companies. There are now links with Cirque de Soleil type shows and streamed-in live concerts on Carnival, Broadway shows and children’s entertainment such as Lego available on MSC Cruises and Dreamworks on Royal Caribbean.

But which cruise offerings might be most appealing do they think? They say that the Mediterranean continues to be the top choice for UK cruisers, but some of the hot new destinations to watch in 2015 include Norway, Australia and the Elbe River, as well as a resurgence of the Caribbean.

There are many companies that have yet to make forecasts for 2015 and we’ll hope to include some in Adrian’s regular snippets column. But forecasts are notoriously tricky. Your ideas of where to go, what’s hot and what’s not may be entirely different. And you can compare your thoughts with what the Just about Travel team thinks on Monday!                                                    

 

 

 

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