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2018 Hottest Travel Trends
Want to know the hottest destinations and trends in the Australian travel scene right now? We asked a team of experts for their picks for 2018.
I think Australian travellers will continue to be adventurous - but with a bit of luxury thrown in. I see beach shacks and glamping as major trends - but with fridges, freezers and hi-tech barbeques.
We can expect travellers to continue to be impromptu; with more and more options people are willing to leave their destination and accommodation choices until the last minute - taking a risk they can still find something suitable but not wanting to be locked into arrangements too far in advance.
I see cool-climate wine regions in Victoria and Tasmania continuing to boom - tastes are changing and pinot noir is growing in popularity. Wine and food will continue to be major destination drivers.
As people work harder and have less leisure time they will be more willing to splash out on luxury experiences, particularly two- or three-night breaks away from the kids.
I believe we're set for a greater emergence of affordable and accessible luxury travel that's more practical than it is pretentious – stylish but liveable accommodation, all-in-one packages that don't sacrifice quality, and allowing luxe lovers to choose more of what they want and less of what they don't. We'll see more creative offerings, collaborations and reward schemes that will benefit the astute traveller as hotels get more savvy with their approach to customer experience and digital marketing.
Improved diligence around sustainability, including sourcing locally, will create a feel-good win-win for everyone. It's a great year for building kudos and better experiences.
2018 seems to have quite a focus on solo travel. I don't think people hesitate anymore when it comes to venturing out and having an incredible solo travel experience. It seems more travel companies are targeting programs to the solo traveller. Another trend seems be travellers forgoing the 'visit as many cities and attractions in the shortest time period possible' style of travel to tick more boxes and instead are opting for actually staying put and having more immersive experiences. Less riding around on sightseeing buses to see it all and more staying put to fully enjoy and truly experience the culture and the food and local lifestyle of fewer locations.
Far North Queensland is likely to be one of the hottest travel destinations of 2018 as many make the epic road trip from Cairns to Cape Yorke. Destinations like the Great Barrier Reef and Port Douglas will continue to be popular but many travellers are seeing more remote locations off the typical tourist route. My tip for an indulgent weekender is Orpheus Island, a private island on the Great Barrier Reef.
I see slow travel and digital nomading becoming more popular in the future, as people are seeking more flexibility from office life and are pursuing the road less travelled. The van life movement is getting stronger. I am actually planning on renovating a van to a camper this year to travel throughout Australia!
The well-trodden tourist trail in Western Europe isn't going to dry up any time soon. In fact, more visitors than ever before are pouring into Europe. What this has meant, however, is that many destinations are unbearably overcrowded. This has resulted in a visitor crackdown in some of Europe's most touristy cities, including anti-tourism protests, caps on numbers and even bans on selfie sticks. While it's hard to imagine that visitors will turn their backs on the likes of Italy, Spain and France, 2018 will see more visitors venturing to explore Europe's more under-the-radar destinations including Poland, Slovenia and Cyprus.
Locally, destinations like Rottnest Island in WA and the Fleurieu Peninsula in SA are on the hot list.
Thank you to our favourite editors, writers and bloggers for their trusted tips.
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