Travel trends 2023
Travel trends 2023
Whether you want to get off-the-beaten track, are seeking a chic retreat, or catching up with family and friends, here are the places to add to your lust list…
We are making up for lost time and far-flung places are on our wishlist. Says Mark Swords from Wimbledon holiday experts Swords Travel: “Asia is very popular, particularly destinations like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, I think people are feeling the urge to see and experience more of the world than ever before. There is also a lot of interest in Australia and New Zealand. With the USA not being such good value with the $ to the £, people are looking into alternative destinations that can offer better value for money, particularly for families.”
India’s stunning Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located on the southeastern edge of the Bay of Bengal, is another top destination to add to your bucket list this year and is a great spot for divers, notes luxury travel network Virtuoso.
Or see the Himalayas in style. Nepal has some new luxury accommodation options including the Shinta Mani Mustang opening this year. In nearby Bhutan, &Beyond’s Punakha River Lodge will open, complementing Gangtey Lodge (which reopened its doors in late 2022). India’s Ladakh region is not to be out done with its opening in 2022 of its very remote Snow Leopard Camp. Tailor-make your itinerary through www.luxtripper.co.uk
Checking out Europe afresh
There’s a whole new reason to visit Amsterdam this year, notes Kirker Holidays. 2023 sees the largest-ever exhibition of Johannes Vermeer paintings on display at the city’s Rijksmuseum. The exhibition, which runs from 10 February until 4 June, will bring together most of Vermeer’s works from around the world.
Summer 2022 was the first time that Norway was open to visitors again, post-pandemic, due to border closures and Covid restrictions, followed by reduced flight capacity. For 2023, specialist operator Sunvil is already seeing a surge in enquiries. Winter bookings are in demand with the Northern Lights growing in intensity until 2025, the solar maximum.
Travellers are looking to make the most of their time away, with two or more destinations on their itinerary. Why not combine culture, shopping and nightlife in Munich before hitting the slopes in the Austrian mountains? Head to Louis in Munich then on to its sister property Severin*s in Lech.
Middle Eastern escapes
Oman’s vast deserts, fascinating wadis, and ancient forts are attracting visitors seeking a back to nature and cultural experience in the Middle East. And it makes a perfect pick-me-up for the winter blues. Wild Frontiers reported bookings in 2022 were up 65% on their previous best year for Oman, 2019. And its popularity is set to continue.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace is opening six vegan suites, constructed without animal products and featuring vegan menus and amenities.
Embrace the journey
We want to explore but we’re also conscious of price. Road trips can quench our love for adventure and be a cheaper way to see the world. Says Benoît Panel of Yescapa: “Campervan travel to off-the-beaten track destinations, such as Northern Portugal – which has seen bookings increase by 64% in 2022 – will become more popular as people look to reduce their costs but still seek to discover new parts of the world, embracing the journey as part of their break, as well as the holiday itself.” Head to Praia de Moledo, Caminha, one of the best beaches in the region. Fly into Porto from London Gatwick and pick up a motorhome.
Many will want to pay their respects to the late HM The Queen this year and will head to her much-loved Aberdeenshire holiday residence, Balmoral, where she passed away in September (it reopens to the public in spring). Beyond Balmoral, visitors can enjoy whisky, walks and wildlife: Royal Lochnagar is the closest distillery to the Balmoral Estate and has awesome views. The Cairngorms National Park celebrates its 20th anniversary of National Park status in 2023 and is a walker’s paradise. Closer to Aberdeen city, the newly opened viewing area at Greyhope Bay offers the highest probability of seeing bottlenose dolphins (from land) anywhere in Britain. (Image: Balmoral (c) VisitAberdeenshire)