Hot tips for 2019

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Bulgaria is becoming a more popular destination. Thracian cliffs in Bulgaria © Anthony Lydekker

This is the time of year when “experts” present forecasts on what will happen in 2019. The travel industry is no different and, over the last month, quite a few forecasts for what will happen in travel in 2019 have arrived in Just about Travel’s inbox. Over the next two weeks, we will present some of those forecasts.

We start our survey of what the industry “experts” suggest by looking at ABTA, the main trade body for the British travel industry, and what it thinks will be the top twelve destinations to watch over the coming year.

The twelve have been selected based on a range of factors such as new flight routes, major events and celebrations, and areas that are experiencing a revival. Bear in mind that ABTA concentrates on overseas destinations so there are no suggested hot spots in either the UK or Ireland.

In alphabetical order the twelve that ABTA has selected are as follows;

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has always been a favourite for holidaymakers looking for good value breaks in resorts along the Black Sea; Sunny Beach, Golden Sands and the UNESCO world heritage town of Nessebar. In the winter, visitors head to the ski resorts of Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo for their relatively easy slopes. The city of Plovdiv will be one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2019.

Lomas de Barbudel Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a world leader in conservation and successive governments have prioritised preserving the country’s incredibly rich diversity of flora and fauna. Direct flights from the UK take less than 12 hours to this nature lover’s dream.

Denver, Colorado, USA

Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city with a great restaurant scene and a the large number of “brewpubs.” The Rocky Mountain National Park and the land around Pike’s Peake are the best places to view the spectacular unspoilt landscapes of this dramatic state.

Durban, South Africa

Durban, South Africa’s third largest city, will have a direct link with the UK via BA next year. The city’s waterfront had a major revamp and beaches are a big visitor attraction. Durban is also the gateway to the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the mountains and landscapes of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg.

Galicia, Spain

Galicia has a number of historic cities, which are well worth a visit, but the star is undoubtedly Santiago de Compostela which, for centuries, has been one of Europe’s main pilgrimage destinations. Another city to visit is La Coruna, which is situated on a beautiful sandy bay and home to a 2000-year-old, perfectly preserved Roman lighthouse, named Hercules Tower. Gastronomy is another of the major reasons why tourists holiday there.

Tokyo at night

Japan

Because the  Rugby World Cup will be held in japan in the autumn of 2019, millions will either visitor or watch the event. BA will launch direct flights to Kansai airport near Osaka from spring 2019. Tokyo, mixes the ultra-modern, with cutting edge design, fashion and architecture, with the ancient legacy of thousands of years of Japanese tradition and culture. Japan also has plenty of ski resorts, with the most popular located in Hokkaido.

Jordan

easyJet and Ryanair have launched new flight routes. Jordan’s jewel in the crown is the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, carved out of solid rose-red rock, only accessible through a narrow winding passage. Jordan is also home to two very different seas; the super salty Dead Sea, where you can happily bob around in its mineral rich water and the diver’s paradise of the Red Sea with its stunning coral reefs.

Madeira

The Atlantic island of Madeira has been welcoming visitors for years, attracted by its mild climate, rugged beauty and lush countryside. Now the island is also increasingly gaining a reputation for adventure and activity holidays, with mountain biking, canyoning and climbing in its dramatic, landscapes, which include snow covered mountains “picos” in the winter.

Poland

Poland has more destinations with direct flights from the UK than mainland Spain, and adventurous holidaymakers are increasingly using this connectivity to explore this country’s historic cities and and beautiful countryside. Krakow remains the jewel in the crown, but other major tourist cities are the capital Warsaw, Lodz, Lublin, Poznan and Wroclaw.

Thessaloniki and the surrounding area

Thessaloniki, the second city of Greece, has undergone a renaissance following the redevelopment of its waterfront. The city is in Macedonia, birthplace to Alexander the Great.  and this Macedonian heritage is evident in the well preserved UNESCO world heritage sites of Philippi and Vergina. Some of the best beaches in Greece are in the three-pronged peninsulas of Halkidiki.

panoraic view of Khiva

Khiva in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

With relaxed entry requirements, travel to Uzbekistan has become much simpler, with relaxed entry requirements, easier access to currency and greatly improved transport links. Uzbekistan is one of the fabled countries of the Silk Road, for centuries the main overland trading route from the East to the West. Samarkand is the key destination and contains some incredibly beautiful buildings covered in intricate carvings, mosaics and tiles, including the Gur Amir Mausoleum, Bibi Khanym Mosque and the Shah-i-Zinda complex.

Western Australia

In 2018 Qantas’ introduced a non-stop, 17-hour flight to the state’s capital Perth. An enormous state (over 1,000 miles long) it  means lots to see, but a trip to Purnululu National Park and one of Australia’s greatest natural wonders – the densely packed Bungle Bungle range – will leave visitors with unforgettable memories. WA has dramatic coastlines where you can view whales, dolphins and the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. WA even has its own answer to the Great Barrier Reef, the Ningaloo Reef, situated off the central Coral Coast.

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