Almost a quarter of the population (24%) plan to spend more on holidays next year, new research by Abta reveals.
This follows early indications that bookings for next summer are 11% above this time last year.
But many uncertainties remain, including around the government’s Brexit negotiations, the association warned.
Abta highlighted five key trends for 2017 as well 12 destinations to watch.
Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “As we reflect on a challenging but successful year for the travel industry and look at the prospects for 2017, there are encouraging signs pointing towards a positive outlook for next year.
“However, when there is so much volatility and uncertainty in our economy, it is difficult to predict what is going to happen to bookings next year, and Brexit negotiations will certainly impact the travel industry.
“Despite this uncertainty, it is always inspiring to see the incredible range of destinations and holidays available to people, and I am particularly pleased to reveal our 12 ‘destinations to watch’.”
Abta’s key trends:
• The currency conscious holiday: Recent fluctuations in the value of the pound are expected to continue into 2017 and it is likely that this will influence holiday decisions. Destinations where the pound may go further include Argentina, Mexico and South Africa.
• Long-haul city breaks: With the city break firmly established as people’s favourite holiday type – more than half of consumers (53%) took one in 2016 compared to 38% who took a beach holiday – city breakers are looking further afield for their next holiday, and the city break is going long-haul. Destinations include Tokyo, Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong and Bangkok. US cities including Los Angeles, Miami, Boston and Washington are also popular.
• Micro-adventures: Defined by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys as ‘small and achievable, for normal people with real lives’, busy holidaymakers are opting to spend some of their holiday or a short break experiencing destinations in a more active way by taking part in a micro-adventure.
• Travel technology hits the high street: Holidaymakers may well find themselves enjoying their hotel, resort or destination before they travel, as travel companies use technology such as virtual reality to let people ‘try before they fly’.
• Sustainable tourism takes centre stage: 2017 is the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and this is expected to put sustainable tourism right at the heart of the agenda. According to the UN, ‘well-designed and well-managed tourism’ can contribute to sustainable development, to job creation and to trade, and it is expected that travel companies may be inspired by this year to look at their role in the destinations they sell to.
The 12 destinations that are expected to capture the public’s imagination next year are, in alphabetical order:
• Andalucía (Spain)
• Azores (Portugal)
• Country Kerry (Ireland)
• Kerala (India)
• Sardinia (Italy)
• South Africa
• The Southern States (USA)
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