Look Ahead To A Spectacular 2020 - Our Hottest Travel Trends For The New Year

26th November 2019
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When crafting our collection of tours for 2020, we considered many things and travel trends, of course, were just one of the factors we worked around.

Why? Well, because your interests and feedback truly do shape our programme of archaeological tours. If we hear you mention a specific destination time and time again over on our social media pages, chances are it might appear in a future brochure. If you send us feedback and suggest something that excites our product team, you can bet they'll sit down and discuss it at length, looking for ways to make your ancient world dream dreams a reality.

With this in mind, we've rounded up our hottest trends for 2020 to inspire you! See you on tour...

UNDERTOURISM

One of the words on everyone's lips in the travel industry right now is overtourism. We, as travellers, are growing more and more concerned with the impact our holidays have - not just environmentally, but socially and also from a responsible perspective. Over the last year, there has been a rise in "second-city travel", meaning that if a guest chooses to visit Italy, for example, instead of making a beeline for the iconic locations, they will choose to visit lesser-known or off-the-beaten-track parts of the country. Additionally, this mindset is also leading people to visit places that are not on most tourists' radars, such as Macedonia, Ethiopia, Oman, and Armenia

COMEBACK DESTINATIONS

Often, when a country has gone through a turbulent time, such as a natural disaster or a terror attack, there will come a point where warnings are lifted and tourism resumes. Two destinations that are set to make a big comeback in 2020 are Egypt and Sri Lanka. The several times delayed Egyptian Museum is finally set to open in 2020, a site home to an incredible selection of ancient artefacts and many of which that have never been publicly exhibited. And, 2020 will see the release of "Death on the Nile" – a big-screen Poirot movie adaptation that is bound to reignite interest in this amazing country. Sri Lanka is another hot destination for 2020. Why? Well, the FCO has now removed its warning meaning that it is once again deemed safe, and next year offers a chance to avoid the crowds while this magnificent country finds its feet once again. What's more, the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration & Emigration announced that until 31st January 2020, British nationals on short visits to Sri Lanka of up to 30 days are exempt from paying visa fees.

AUTHENTIC ENCOUNTERS WITH LOCALS

Now that people are becoming more aware of the environmental impact their holidays have, they are also seeking more meaningful encounters on their trips. Voluntourism (holidays where guests help with projects as voluntary work) is on the rise as are tours that include encounters with local people. Tourists are looking for a sense of connection to their destination rather than just a fly-and-flop break or a trip where they step off a coach to take photos and then continue on their way. This can be found in regional cookery classes, in demonstrations of traditional crafts or in invitations to meet with families and get to understand their way of life. Our exciting new Cultural Journeys tour range includes many of these experiences.

CRUISING

According to ABTA's 2019 Holiday Habits report, UK cruise passengers reached over 2 million for the first time last year. One in seven people surveyed are considering a cruise in 2020, a figure that is 2% up on last year. The Silver Travel Advisor's 2019 Industry Report also revealed that 23% of respondents have taken a river cruise and that an impressive 74% would take another. The main reasons for the popularity of cruising is getting to see a selection of places on one trip and then only having to unpack once! People polled in both reports preferred smaller ships and we have just launched an Ocean Cruise range, which explores Croatia and Greece from the water. The tours will use small ships, meaning they can berth at lesser-visited destinations that are home to unique archaeological ruins. Our River Cruise range also uses small vessels, stopping at ports along the Rhône, Rhine and Danube, again paying visits to sites of archaeological, architectural and historical significance.

MORE FOR YOUR MONEY

A growning concern of many travellers is, inevitably, the cost of their adventures. Silver Travel Advisor's 2019 Industry Report claims that while the majority of the 50+ market generally spends between £1,000 - £3,000 pa (42% this year, 45% in 2018), there has been a shift towards people spending less than £1,000pa – a trend that has grown from 20% to 28% over the last 12 months. We have launched a new Bare Bones tour range, which offers archaeological tours in ancient world destinations that start at just £735pp. In 2020, guests can visit Troy, Rhodes, Pompeii and more – for less.

OUR MUST-VISIT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OF 2020

Ephesus, Western Turkey: We offer special access to the Roman-era terraced houses found here

• Göbekli Tepe, South-East Turkey: A UNESCO Site that predates Stonehenge by 7,500 years

• Baalbek, Lebanon: You'll find the great Temple of Jupiter Heliopolis at this amazing pre-Roman site

• Theatre of Herculaneum, Italy: We offer exclusive private access to this little-visited site

• Gamzigrad, Serbia: The town of Roman Emperor Galerius, who built the Felix Romuliana palace

• Lalibela, Ethiopia: Rock-hewn churches, carved from single blocks of granite with ground-level roofs

• Bat, Oman: This area is home to UNESCO-listed Bronze Age beehive tombs

FINALLY, DESTINATIONS WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT FOR 2020

Albania - Join us here from £2,295pp in 2020

Bulgaria – Join us here from £2,595pp in 2020

Gozo – Join us here from £2,595pp in 2020

Belize – Join us here from £5,845pp in 2020

Ethiopia - Join us here from £5,495 in 2020

Serbia - Join us here from £2,595pp in 2020

Lebanon - Join us here from £2,895pp in 2020

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