The annual ABTA Travel Trends Report cites ‘x-factor destinations’ - those with something new and unique to offer - and a desire for travellers to give something back to the destinations they visit, as key trends in British travel behaviour for 2010.
The ABTA Travel Trends Report suggests that ‘x-factor’ holidays for 2010 might include a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa’s World Cup or be influenced by this year’s hot films and books. The setting of the Twilight teen vampire saga, Forks, Washington State, is expected to build on its massive rise in visitor numbers in 2009. Jamie Oliver’s American Road Trip should also continue to increase bookings for ranch based holidays and trips to less-visited US states. Culture vultures will spread their wings to Istanbul, next year’s European City of Culture.
The report also highlights a greater demand for holidays that allow travellers to give something back to destinations, with ‘chadventures’ – a combination of adventure and raising money for charity, or ‘volunturism’ based breaks, gaining currency with some tour operators even partnering with NGOs.
A further trend shows a pent up wanderlust for areas emerging from troubled times, such as Sri Lanka, which looks set to increase in popularity next year. Sri Lanka may be among those countries that will jump from 2009’s news pages and back into the travel supplements as a firm fixture on the tourist trail. Even Iraq is promoting itself as a future holiday destination for 2010. Other long haul destinations that look set to return to popularity, and recover from the issues they have faced recently, include Mexico and Thailand.
Egypt, Turkey and Morocco are also predicted to be strong destinations for 2010 as investment in luxury hotels and infrastructure, including more efficient airports and roads, will attract holidaymakers looking for high standards at lower costs.
The long haul trend may also be boosted by holidaymakers booking flights before the next round of Air Passenger Duty increases - by the end of next year it will mean a family of four flying to America having to pay £240 in tax. Kenya, the Caribbean and Australia will also be hit hard by the rises in Air Passenger Duty.
With many of these destinations being further afield and in countries with very different cultures, and laws, the FCO is warning travellers to ensure they research their destination in advance by visiting www.fco.gov.uk/travel. Holidaymakers are also advised that whilst they may be getting good deals on holidays, not to scrimp on vital travel insurance, and ensure they have the relevant medication before they leave.
Julian Braithwaite, Director of Consular Services at the FCO, said: “Whatever the reason for your travel - excitement for something unique, a pent-up wanderlust for an unknown country or an escape from the Euro zone - it is vital that British travellers research their destination thoroughly before they go. It is important to familiarise yourself with the local laws and customs of a country. The situation in some of these countries also changes regularly - so ensure you check the FCO website before you go and take out comprehensive travel insurance.”
Frances Tuke from ABTA said: “This year has been remarkably resilient for the travel industry, and prospects are looking good for 2010, with the trend to more adventurous destinations continuing. However, regardless of the destination, a holiday could be remembered for the wrong reasons if travellers fail to check Foreign Office advice before heading off on their adventures.”