THE ROUNDUP OF ALL ROUNDUPS!
As certain as night follows day, once the New Year festivities die down the newspapers and TV ads are jam packed with fad diets, unbeatable sofa discounts and an array of holiday recommendations and offers for the best trip in 2016.
So where do the media think are the hot spots for this year, the hottest new hotel openings or the events not to miss? Here is our round up of all the best round ups.
Costa Rica tops many of the polls coming top of the list in the London Evening Standard “Holiday Hit Parade”, The Guardian’s “2016 Where to Go” list and the Daily Mirror’s “Treat 16” New Year holiday round up.
Add the first direct flights from the UK and a number of new hotel openings from luxury resorts such as Andaz Peninsula Papagayo (www.papagayo.andaz.com) to beach front bungalows in Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica is the must see destination this year. The new flights have not only made travel to Costa Rica easier, but also make trips to the rest of Central America more achievable from the UK opening up the options for multi-centre travel.
In fact Central and Latin America dominate the travel hot lists for 2016 and according to the Latin American Travel Association (www.lata.org), Cuba and Costa Rica saw the biggest increases in inquiries and sales last year.
Lima in Peru featured in most titles including The Financial Times “Where to go in 2016”, the Daily Telegraphs Boxing Day round up and came first in the Daily Mail “what’s hot guide”. For the first time in 24 years Britain will have non-stop flights to Peru from Gatwick starting in May.
Japan was a popular choice for the Sunday weekend travel sections. The extended bullet train network being one of the many reasons to visit along with favourable currency rates. In line with this, Asia specialist Wendy Wu Tours reports a huge surge in Japan bookings with forward sales up 350% year on year.
Closer to home, Spain continues to appeal to British travellers, visitor numbers no doubt boosted by the demise of destinations in Tunisia and Egypt. This year’s European City of Culture will be shared between two destinations with gastro city San Sebastian holding the title for mainland Spain with Wroclaw in Poland.
The Canary Islands will see a new Hard Rock Hotel opening in Tenerife following the launch of their first European hotel in Ibiza in 2015. Located in Costa Adeje on the south of the island the hotel will have over 800 rooms for sun worshippers and music lovers.
Fuerteventura continues to attract surfers and beach lovers particularly during the kite festival which takes place at the Dunes of Corralejo Natural Park in early November (close to the Gran Atlantis Bahia Real Hotel) and lesser known La Gomera opens a new Mirador del Abrante offering a seven metre glass “skywalk” over a 200m ravine with stunning views of neighbouring island Tenerife.
Despite a turbulent 2015, Greece still holds huge appeal for the travel editors. Ios featured in the Telegraph list of places to visit this year. A staggeringly beautiful island 95% untouched; a local philosopher has purchased a third of the island to ensure this commitment to nature remains.
At the other end of the spectrum, Mykonos is now a fully-fledged rival to chic Ibiza with new beach bars opening all the time as trendy Nammos or Scorpios continue to attract A list celebs throughout the year.
In the USA, 2016 boasts the centenary of the US parks often cited as “America’s best idea”. The Mirror questions what better time to visit the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite whilst The Telegraph focuses on the astonishingly diverse collection of natural beauty, stretching from the Gates of the Arctic National Park in northern Alaska to the Smoky Mountains National Park.
At home, Pullman will open its second hotel in Liverpool later in the spring, walking distance from Albert Dock and Tate Liverpool and Guernsey will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Victor Hugo publication ‘Toilers of the Sea’, with the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Festival taking place from 2 –10 April, part of the wider Channel Islands Heritage Festival.
Simon Calder, Travel Editor of the Independent includes a list of New Year travel resolutions including visiting a sporting event when on your travels. This year the Olympics start in Brazil in August followed by that Paralympics in September. Euro 2016 may be a welcome boost for inbound business to France and the Tour de France will travel through Andorra introducing more terrifying mountain peaks than Yorkshire can shake a stick at.
Other events featured in the Times “The Agenda 2016” included the Modern Nemean Games in Greece and the Festival of the Sun in Cuzco Peru, both in June.
Finally a different travel wish list. The Independent featured the great and the good of the travel industry listing their 2016 travel wishes. They included the re-emergence of travel agencies, less selfie time and the ultimate irony, less bucket list round ups…it’s time to make up your own mind!
Images from left to right:
1. Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica, Copyright KateHood.com
2. Nuevas Esperanzas, Nicaragua
3. Vidarte Space, Brazil