Despite the fact that the world seems to be hurtling ever-faster towards Armageddon, we Brits are still a nation of holiday-lovers. Call it ‘getting away from it all’, call it ‘burying our heads in the sand’, or call it ‘trying to squeeze every last drop of joy from the world while we still can’, foreign travel is a more popular pastime than ever before.
And while 2017 might feel like it’s only just beginning, clear trends are already emerging when it comes to where we really want to go. Luxury travel company Kuoni has just released its trend report for 2017, based on the trips people were booking in January – and while certain places are proving as popular as ever (hello, Maldives), some slightly less obvious destinations are also sneaking up the ranks.
As well as looking at where people are going, the trend report also takes note of what kind of holiday travellers are looking for. Apparently, they’ve seen a rise in interest in ‘experiential travel’, which essentially translates as getting stuck into activities rather than just lazing on a beach: think chocolate-making courses, street food safaris and rainforest treks.
Looking for inspiration as to where to book this year’s getaway? Read on.
While Greece didn’t make it into the most popular worldwide rankings, it’s still one of the hottest destinations for British tourists looking for a short-haul fix. Holiday sales are up 30% in 2017 so far (compared to the same time last year), suggesting our appetite for sun, sea and calamari is only getting stronger.
The idyllic islands of Santorini and Mykonos are as buzzing as ever, while an edgy Athens neighbourhood was recently voted one of the hippest in Europe. The fragile Greek economy also means that prices tend to be lower than other popular European destinations – a boon, considering that the post-Brexit pound has been weakened against the euro.
Croatia is “thriving”, according to Kuoni’s trend report – and for good reason. There were reportedly more than a quarter more British visitors to the Balkan country in 2016 versus 2015, and that rise looks set to continue this year.
The weather is just as lovely as in other countries on the Mediterranean Sea (13 hours of sunshine a day in Dubrovnik in July and August!), the beaches are gorgeous, and while Croatia is now a member of the EU it still uses its old currency, the kuna – which offers a much better exchange rate against the pound than the Euro. All good things, all good things.
Further afield, Malaysia already looks set to be even more popular in 2017 than it was in 2016. Airline fees are genuinely reasonable, considering that it’s over 6,000 miles away (we found return flights from London to Kuala Lumpur for a little over £300), and costs are also low once you touch down.
Check out the breathtaking Langkawi islands, explore Kuala Lumpur’s bustling Central Market, or go trekking in the lush Cameron Highlands.
Well, of course. Once perceived as America’s mild-mannered, slightly geeky younger brother, Canada’s popularity has been on the rise ever since school bully Donald Trump began his ascent to the White House. (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of course, seems to have more than a little to do with this: even Ivanka Trump isn’t immune to his charms.)
But even without all the anxious liberal Americans trying to escape north of the border, 2017 would be a good year for Canada. It’s been voted Lonely Planet’s best travel destination for 2017, and has moved up four places on Kuoni’s trend report.
This year also marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the name for when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were merged into one country. As part of the celebrations, entry to all of Canada’s breathtaking national parks will be free all year round.
Long a desirable destination for British holidaymakers, Thailand is still set to be trendy in 2017. And interestingly, a significant chunk of its popularity appears to be down to its reputation for being a great spot for same-sex holidays and honeymoons.
Sales for LGBT honeymoons in Thailand are up 22% in 2017 compared to last year, according to Kuoni – and it’s currently the second best-selling honeymoon spot after the Maldives.
Worldwide Trends Report 2017: Full List
- Sri Lanka
- Indonesia (Bali)
- St Lucia
- South Africa
- New Zealand