The travel trends expected to shape holiday choices in 2019 have been revealed by Abta, alongside its “12 destinations to watch”.

Responsible tourism is set to be a key factor in holiday bookings in 2019 as consumers pay closer attention to the sustainability credentials of tour operators and the trips they offer.

Other travel trends for the year ahead — revealed in industry body Abta’s annual list — include the resurgence of the “trusted expert” who is able to meet demand for personal and tailored travel advice.

The influential report, which is based on market information and consumer insights, also suggests that people remain committed to taking holidays despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty.

Rise of wellness travel

According to the report, two-fifths of people cited sustainability as important when booking a holiday, a sharp increase from 24% in 2014.

There’s now much greater awareness of plastics and tourism’s impact on local communities, prompting many companies to announce plans to make holidays more sustainable in the long term.

Abta highlights the rise of wellness travel, with this market growing twice as fast as general tourism as people look to alleviate stress and boost wellbeing.

There’s also a focus on services-based technology to make the lives of travellers easier. Examples include airport luggage drop-off services, facial recognition technology replacing passports and suncream booths.

12 destinations to watch

With 46% of people likely to visit a country they’ve never been to before in 2019, Abta’s 12 destinations to watch showcase the diversity available to UK holidaymakers.

The report reveals the hidden gems of familiar destinations, such as the extensive mountain biking opportunities in Madeira and the city break destination, Thessaloniki.

Many of the places on the list offer good value breaks, thanks to cheap flights to Poland or a favourable exchange rate in South Africa. Bookings to Bulgaria next summer, a longstanding value for money destination, are already up 30% on this time last year.

The other destinations on the list are Costa Rica, Denver in Colorado, Galicia in Spain, Japan, Jordan, Uzbekistan and Western Australia.


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