Up-and-Coming Holiday Destinations in 2015 – News Report

Destination - Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Hotel and Falls as featured in Twin Peaks

Austria, Netherlands, Japan and the Pacific Coast of the USA will be popular destinations for British holidaymakers in 2015, according to a new ABTA Travel Trends Report.

These are included in a list of twelve holiday destinations to watch out for in 2015, based on factors such as the relative strength of sterling, important anniversaries, new air routes and even repeat TV series!

Six of these up-and-coming destinations are in Europe; the other six involve long haul flights.

Trends Identified in the Report

• British holidaymakers are becoming more adventurous, with 35% of those surveyed for ABTA, indicating that in 2015 they will visit a country that they have never visited before. Many holidaymakers will stick to countries they have previously visited, but 48% of those intend to visit a new city or region in that country; see below for La Gomera and Peloponnese. In our experience, senior travellers appear to be some of the most adventurous of all holidaymakers.

Travel blogs, such as Senior Travel Expert, are seen as useful sources of information about destinations that are off the beaten track.

Benedictine Monastery in Melk, Austria
Benedictine Monastery in Melk, Austria

• City Breaks are now more popular than Beach Holidays, with 43% of those surveyed planning a City Break compared with 42% a Beach Holiday. This we believe is particularly the case for senior travellers, who can up sticks and disappear off to whichever city suits their fancy at any time of the year, often at off-peak prices.

• Seniors are opting for more cruises  Of those people aged 55-64, 13% intend to take a cruise holiday in 2015, with the figure rising to 18% for those over 65. European river cruises along the Rhine, Moselle and Danube are proving particularly popular, with Viking River Cruises launching 16 new boats in 2014 to cater for the upsurge in bookings.

‘Set-jetting’, that is jetting off to visit TV and film ‘sets’, appears to be growing in popularity. This trend will attract holidaymakers to visit international destinations such as Austria, Botswana and the Pacific Coast of the USA – see below.

Up-and-Coming Destinations in 2015 – Europe

Nieuwmarkt District of Amsterdam
Enjoy a City Break in the Nieuwmarkt District of Amsterdam

Austria – The film the Sound of Music celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015, with fans expected to head off to Salzburg. Also the Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Vienna in May; but there is of course much more to that fine capital, including its magnificent architecture and arguably the best cakes and coffee in the world.

If you are travelling from Salzburg to Vienna, make a point of stopping at the baroque Benedictine monastery in the city of Melk on the Danube.

Latvia – The capital city Riga was the European Capital of Culture in 2014 and this has fuelled renewed interest as a City Break destination. Interest is also developing in the Kurzeme region to the west with its unspoilt sandy beaches, forests, lakes and waterfalls.

La Gomera (Canary Islands) – This is an example of where more adventurous holidaymakers will travel a bit further afield and take the short ferry crossing from Tenerife to this relatively unspoilt island. La Gomera now features for the first time in Thomas Cook’s brochure, so travel soon if you want to enjoy its tranquil charms.

Netherlands – The capital city Amsterdam has long been favoured for City Breaks, but holidaymakers in 2015 are expected to branch out to other attractive Dutch cities, such as Maastricht and The Hague. Don’t forget the P&O Ferries route to the Netherlands.

Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

Norway – Not only may the land of the film Frozen attract families with young children, but at the other age extreme, seniors are finding Norway provides a great cruising experience.

Peloponnese (Greece) – New direct air routes from the UK to Kalamata will help to open up this beautiful part of Greece, with its many historical sites, including the best preserved of all Greek theatres at Epidaurus.

Up-and-Coming Destinations in 2015 – Long Haul

Botswana – The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books and TV series will help to put Botswana and its capital Gaborone firmly on the tourist map, but its spectacular countryside and wildlife are its long-term attractions.

Japan – The pound increased against the yen by 30% last year (see: Your Pounds Go Further This Year) making Japan a good value destination. Favourite places to visit are the bustling capital Tokyo, the old imperial capital Kyoto and the Mount Fuji district. But don’t miss out on less well known places; I enjoyed looking around the small town of Narita with its magnificent temple complex and Naritasan Park.

Singapore – 2015 marked 50 years of independence for Singapore, with a series of events throughout the year to celebrate. Singapore today is an ultra-modern destination, but you can still visit the historic Raffles Hotel and sample a Singapore Sling.

Seattle Space Needle and Chihuly Glass Sculpture
Seattle Space Needle and Chihuly Glass Sculpture

Cuba – Now that President Obama has lifted US travel restrictions, expect a massive influx of American tourists and products. Get in there quickly whilst it is still basking in its isolated charm. See the iconic American cars from the 1940s and 50s whilst you sip a marguerita in one of Hemingway’s favourite watering holes.

Dominican Republic – With new direct flights from London and Glasgow, the Dominican Republic’s beautiful beaches and lush mountain scenery will become an even more popular destination for British holidaymakers in 2015.

Pacific Coast of the USA – Senior travellers will no doubt remember, possibly with mixed feelings, the television series Twin Peaks from 25 years ago. Well a new series is now planned and that will get ‘set-jetters’ flying over to Washington, Oregon and northern California in pursuit of the spectacular countryside featured in the series. This includes Snoqualmie with its famous waterfall. Hopefully they will also find time to visit Seattle, a city I found to be much more interesting than I had expected.

The ABTA Travel Trends Report 2015 was produced jointly by ABTA and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and was based on interviews with 2001 British consumers. The FCO provides advice for each destination with regard to possible health, crime and weather hazards.