New destinations to watch in 2019
It’s time to start planning for the 2019 travel year. As your clients start sending over their quote requests, you may notice a few new cities dominating this year’s travel trends. London, Venice, and Athens still and always will have their place in our hearts. But many travelers are stepping out into the quieter corners of the world. Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and less-traveled areas of the Mediterranean are making huge strides in tourism. These are a few destinations to keep your eye on!
1. Budva, Montenegro
This tiny country is packed full of undiscovered charm. Its rugged mountains and dazzling beaches remain somewhat quiet, thanks to the popularity of nearby destinations such as Greece and Croatia. Montenegro offers beauty, history, and total tranquility at a great price.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Travelers seeking a culturally-rich experience with an affordable price tag are flocking to Hungary’s capital city. Don’t let your travelers miss a dinner cruise on the scenic Danube river.
3. Lofoten, Norway
Norway steadily ranks as one of the happiest, healthiest countries in the world. Travelers pursuing a healthy, outdoorsy lifestyle readily embrace the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, literally translating to “open-air living.” Experience Lofoten for some of Norway’s best hiking and dramatic scenery.
4. Paphos, Cyprus
In pictures, Cyprus looks almost too good to be true. Deep, blue waters dotted with sun-soaked rock formations crash against the shoreline. Enchanting waterfalls and quiet woodlands wait for adventurous hikers. It’s easy to see why this beautiful, Mediterranean island is home to so many ancient Greek legends.
5. Azores, Portugal
These carefully-preserved islands rank high for sustainable tourism. Explore the surrounding ocean through a whale-watching tour or diving excursion. Admire the distinct, rugged landscape of the Azores by foot or horseback. To get there, take a Delta flight from New York to Ponta Delgada.
6. Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a little bit of everything. Hike the towering Balkan Mountains. Soak up the sun along the coast of the glistening Black Sea. Take a walk through history as you explore Sofia, one of the oldest cities in Europe. You are sure to feel welcome in this beautiful country. Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Europe not yet overwhelmed by tourism. You might even receive a thank you card for your visit!
7. Reykjavik, Iceland
Over the past decade, Iceland has experienced a dramatic increase in tourism. The number of tourists has grown so overwhelming that the government is now considering a tourist cap. Iceland began putting heavy emphasis on advertising to tourists in 2010. By 2016, the total number of American tourists visiting the country actually surpassed the population. Top draws to the country include viewing the Northern Lights, whale watching, and geothermal spas.
8. Lviv, Ukraine
Located on the far western side of Ukraine, Lviv packed with culture and history. Take a slow walk through the city to enjoy the delightful architecture and many museums. Rest at one of Lviv’s many famous coffee shops, including one where your waiter will literally set your coffee on fire.
9. Saariselkä, Finland
Although often overshadowed by the rest of Scandinavia, Finland is rising on the tourist scene. Thanks to Pinterest, Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is now an iconic, bucket list favorite. Here you can view the Northern Lights from a cozy, glass dome in the middle of the Finnish wilderness.
10. Valletta, Malta
Valletta tops many lists as an emerging travel destination. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, brimming with history in every corner. Beyond its historical significance, Valletta is known for sunshine and clear, clean waters. Take a boat tour and cruise along the Maltese coastline for some really incredible views.