This time of year is good to look forward to what might be coming in the year to come.
Firstly world events – you can’t ignore Brexit. What effect will it have on travel? In the coming months, I’m not expecting a huge difference to be honest. Visas will come in for travel to Europe but not for a couple of years. Will planes be prevented from flying over Europe or landing in European airports if there is No Deal? Probably not – politicians have to be practical – business needs to carry on so planes will carry on flying.
In September and October, the Rugby World Cup will take place in Japan. This will highlight Japan as a tourist destination and I’m expecting lots of travel programmes on the TV about it. However the recent decision by the Japanese government to restart whale hunting in July might have a detrimental effect on tourism as international protests and pressure take hold.
Culture capitals are popular for tourists to visit – in 2019, Matera in Southern Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria are the European Cities of Culture. Watch out for art and cultural events happening throughout the year.
According to Lonely Planet – the top cities to visit this coming year are Copenhagen, Shenzen (China), Novi Sad (Serbia), Miami, Kathmandu, Mexico City, Dakar (Senegal), Seattle, Zadar (Croatia), Meknes (Morocco). Of this, not many are usually ones that immediately spring to mind when thinking of a city break, but they all have lots to recommend them.
One thing I’d like to encourage all travellers to do – go somewhere you’ve never been before. www.domino.com tells travellers to go off the beaten track. Go to Belfast instead of Dublin – my highlights would be the Titanic Museum and the Giants’s Causeway. Try Abu Dhabi instead of Dubai – used to be mainly a business destination, but now has one of the largest mosques in the world, miles of desert to explore and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as Ferrariworld. Instead of South Africa, go to Botswana – still has amazing wildlife, but less tourists. Swap Thailand for India – great beaches in Goa but you also have the must-see Taj Mahal in Agra, it really does take your breath away with the first sight of the white building through the entrance arch.