New research from The Luxury Travel Fair, which jets in to Olympia London (Thursday 1st– Sunday 4th November) has revealed the nation’s top getaway locations. When 1,500 people were asked where they would like to go that they’ve never visited before, New Zealand came out top, followed by the Galápagos Islands and in third place, Iceland! The full top 10 was as follows:
1. New Zealand
2. The Galápagos Islands
6. The Maldives
10. South Africa
But what are the anticipated travel trends for 2019? We’ve picked the brains of some of The Luxury Travel Fair’s leading experts to see what – and where - will be big news in the year ahead.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Tourists in 2019 are not going to be afraid to try something NEW. Holidays are getting more and more adventurous and this is set to continue, no matter their age.
Catherine Thake, Fair Director at The Luxury Travel Fair says: “We’ve found that consumers are hungry to discover new and uncharted destinations. They are searching for places where they can immerse themselves in the culture and community, whilst gaining authentic and real travel experiences. They are much more conscious of where they are travelling, understanding the locality of where they are and being more environmentally aware.”
THE RISE OF WELLBEING TOURISM
Nearly half (47%) of people surveyed by The Luxury Travel Fair said they are more health-conscious as they get older and therefore pick holidays with this in mind – choosing to take trips that improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Think yoga retreats, sporting activities and mindfulness camps.
Helen Bell, Director of Romancing the Ordinary says: “Last year one in ten of our clients booked a wellness retreat style holiday and in 2019 the numbers seem set to increase. The wellbeing tourist industry has grown at an incredibly fast rate over the last few years and has become big business, driven by an increasingly health conscious population that seeks to live longer, look and feel younger than our years, as well as achieving a level of health and fitness that enables us to do all of the things we wish to do.”
LUXURY IN THE WILDERNESS
While tourists in 2019 are anticipated to want to stray from the beaten track, there will be a trend for wanting to do this in comfort. Mike Clay from Panoramic Journeys says: “We have seen a lot of interest in luxurious wilderness journeys; getting way, way off the beaten track where guests can connect with nature and lives far different from their own whilst still enjoying a touch of luxury. The reason why is travellers today have come to expect a certain level of comfort and cuisine but need to disengage from hectic lives. An experience like this, that gives the soul time to revive, is the perfect antidote to the ‘switched on 24 hours’ world we live in."
ON THE MOVE
Rather than sticking in one location more and more holiday makers are looking for trips where a key part of their time is spent travelling. However, 2019 is anticipated to be all about luxury travel with “an anticipated rise in luxury cruise and train travel” says Catherine Thake from The Luxury Travel Fair.
Catherine Thake from The Luxury Travel Fair believes that Japan will be on top of many people’s list in 2019 thanks to the Rugby World Cup, as well as places like Madagascar, Namibia and Costa Rica for those keen to see wildlife and enjoy adventure. Closer to home, she thinks Slovenia, Puglia in Italy and Finish Lapland will experience a boom.
Meanwhile, Peter Shanks from Silversea Cruises says: “We see 2019 as the year of expeditions – and the top three destinations will be the Galapagos, the Arctic and particularly Antarctica. Visitors want the chance to experience some of the most remote parts of our planet and many have a growing fascination both with the ice fields and the incredible exploring history of the region. We anticipate this to be hugely popular in 2019, particularly when combined with a trip to South America.”
Edward Paine, Director of Last Frontiers, specialists in travel to Latin America agrees. While he identifies Chile and Costa Rica as hugely popular in 2019 thanks to the introduction of non-stop flights (to San Jose and Santiago with British Airways), Edward anticipates the Galapagos and Antarctic cruises to sell very well. This he credits to the popularity of programmes like My Family in the Galapagos on Channel 4 and David Attenborough’s Blue Planet.
On the other hand, Malcolm Peasnall, Product Director at The Independent Traveller believes that Canada and South Africa are set to continue to rise in popularity next year. He says: “In 2018 we have been really busy with Canada and South Africa; both are good value and one works for UK summer and the other for UK winter. Our best sellers have been train trips across Canada and safari options in South Africa.”
THE SOLO TRAVELLER
More and more people are feeling comfortable with travelling alone, no matter their age. Sara White, Marketing Director at Real World Travel & Conservation says: “In 2018 we have seen an increase in solo travel requests. Some individuals wish to join small group escorted tours while others opt for tailor-made stays favouring camps or lodges with convivial evening dining and optional group activities. In response to this trend we have seen top end properties offering to waive single supplements in specific seasons for the first few rooms booked.”
THE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
Travellers in 2019 are looking for a truly immersive experience. Sara White at Real World Travel & Conservation says: “For Real Africa we have seen a swing away from commercial activities like balloon safaris to more enriching behind the scenes conservation visits where guests can walk with an anti-poaching dog squad, hand-feed rare giraffes or visit an elephant rescue, rehabilitation and release project.”
The Luxury Travel Fair, the event that offers an unrivalled collection of the most immersive and tailor-made, luxury travel experiences on the market, returns to Olympia London Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th November.