The past 12 months have been challenging for the wider UK economy, with inflation outstripping wage growth and a continued assault on the value of the pound providing the backdrop to the year. Despite this, our research shows that the underlying demand for holidays remains very strong, and more British people are taking more holidays than at any time since 2011. The travel industry has a history of adaptation and innovation and it continues to be incredibly dynamic, with travel companies evolving and innovating to meet the needs and desires of their customers.
New destinations are emerging as people look for more authentic experiences, and niche trends are becoming mainstream. With this in mind, we have outlined some key trends for the year ahead which are likely to influence holiday habits in the next 12 months.
ABTA’s 12 Destinations to Watch for 2018 are also included in this report. We have identified a mix of destinations that are expected to capture the public’s imagination for a variety of reasons. It could be that the destination has become more accessible thanks to new flight routes, it could be that it is hosting a major event, or it could simply be that its time has come. Our choices are based on the best insider knowledge and are designed to inspire holidaymakers to try out new experiences and destinations or see old favourites through new eyes.
In 2018 in particular the theme of ‘responsible tourism’ is a common thread which runs through many of our destination choices, as the importance of creating better places for people to live in, and better places to visit, takes centre stage.