Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Contiki has released its top 10 list of trending destinations for Millennial travel in 2019, based on new polls by the travel company.
Contiki Canada President Sheralyn Berry says the list of destinations comes at the same time as another recent Contiki survey of young Canadian travellers, showing that a strong majority – as much as three-quarters of respondents – said they plan on trying new travel experiences in 2019.
The same survey also asked respondents about what factors are involved when planning their vacations. Four in 10 cited experiencing local culture of the destination they’re visiting as a top deciding factor, with another one-third specifically looking for adventure-based travel.
Where are Millennials heading in 2019? Here are the top 10 countries on Millennial bucket lists, according to Contiki’s research…
Often overlooked in favour of its more mainstream counterparts, like Egypt and Morocco, Jordan offers safe and easy travelling thanks to its modern infrastructure, inquisitive locals and modest size, says Contiki. Best known for the ancient pink city of Petra, it also offers desert panoramas, ancient monuments, great food and warm hospitality. Contiki’s new 11-day Israel and Jordan Uncovered small group adventure visits the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative Society, a Contiki Cares powered by TreadRight project, connecting travellers to the area’s local traditions and customs before heading out to the desert on a 4×4 and getting up close and personal with Petra.
“Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, spectacular wildlife, rolling surf, affordable prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food make Sri Lanka a hotspot in 2019,” says Contiki. Sri Lanka is perfect for young Canadians longing for a mixture of wildlife adventure and beach time: “It’s the place many haven’t been to yet but should.” Contiki’s new 10-day Pure Sri Lanka small group adventure takes young travellers all over the island, from national parks to beaches to tea country.
Scotland has also seen a spike in interest thanks to the cult following of the hit TV series Outlander. It seems that many millennials are looking to find their own versions of Jamie and Claire somewhere in the Highlands, notes Contiki. The company’s 6-day Scotland trip covers St. Andrews, Loch Ness and the Whiskey Trail.
The latest statistics show a 10.8% increase in Canadian visitors to Japan. Contiki’s 13-day Japan Unrivalled small group adventure includes traditional Japanese hot springs in Takayama, the cultural hub of Kyoto and the bright lights and fast pace of Tokyo, as while eating as much sushi as possible.
Young travellers can take a cable car up Cape Town’s Table Mountain and then embark on the Panorama Route to Kruger National Park to see Africa’s Big 5. South Africa, specifically Supertubes in Jeffrey’s Bay, is also great for surfing. “With adventure in abundance and a great exchange rate for the loonie, South Africa is calling,” says Contiki. The company suggests its new 11-day Cape, Safari & Falls small group trip.
“Move over Croatia and Greek Islands! Turkey is poised as the next pick for millennials’ sailing holiday with friends,” says Contiki. The company’s week-long Turkish Sailing small group adventure heads to seaside towns and private coves along shimmering blue seas aboard a traditional Turkish gulet boat.
With its lively capital Minsk and sprawling national parks, Belarus is one of the hottest destinations for 2019. Contiki is positioning travel here as “the ultimate gap year trip”, where clients can hop on Contiki’s 23-day Scandinavia & Russia Plus adventure to explore Minsk “in all of its manicured gardens and pretty water glory”.
While most Canadians have visited Mexico, staying within the confines of their all-inclusive resort, many have never actually travelled to the country – that is, exploring the real, authentic side of Mexico. Serving up Mexico in all its glory over 14 days, guests on Contiki’s Mexico Grande small group adventure can “escape from the all-inclusive bubble” and immerse themselves in adventure activities, water sports, cultural sites and an unbelievable variety of food and nightlife. Included experiences range from a walking tour of picturesque Guanajuato, a tequila tasting in Tequila, seeing the Ceboruco volcano, soaking up some sun in Cancun and learning about in Mayan history on a guided tour at Chichen Itza.
Contiki says “Looking at images of Slovenia is a bit like looking at teasers for a new Disney movie. But this is no fairy-tale – it really does look like that in the flesh. Emerald lakes, enchanting forests, hillside castles, alpine panoramas and oh yes, the food is delicious.” Clients can maximize their vacation time with Contiki’s Eastern Trail trek where they’ll visit seven countries in nine days. Guests will be able to explore Lake Bled, possibly the most scenic lake in the world, with time to take a dip in the water before staying in Ljubljana with free time included.
This underrated palm-fringed paradise is packed with treasures, plus it’s home to crystal-clear waters and one of the longest barrier reefs on the planet. Contiki’s 22-day Playas of Paradise small group adventure takes in the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef and includes options for diving and snorkelling, plus of course sampling fresh seafood.