Ho ho home will be the hot destination for 2013
CHRISTMAS is a time for festivities, but it should also be a chance to consider next year’s travels.
To help with your holiday planning, travel industry veterans give their opinions on what the hot destinations will be in 2013.
believes Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will be ‘‘an absolute pearler’’ for New Zealand, with tourists flocking on the back of Wellington being the setting for the much-anticipated film. Queensland, too —‘‘in the absence of any disastrous weather events’’ — will be popular, as will Tasmania, which continues to go from strength to strength, particularly with Hobart’s eccentric Museum of Old and New Art (Mona).
‘‘I think the United States continues to be extremely popular, along with the South Pacific,’’ he adds. ‘‘And if the euro continues to drop, it will be another big winter for Australians visiting Europe.’’ Cruising holidays, too, continue to get strong bookings. believes next year will see Australians rediscovering their own country. With ‘‘incredible product like the Saffire Freycinet resort and Mona’’, Tasmania remains a hot ticket, particularly as it is a ‘‘great drive destination’’.
‘‘I would also argue that Arnhem Land is one of the world’s great tourism experiences and, because it is hard to get to and fairly expensive, would-be holidaymakers should start planning now.’’ McEvoy believes Kangaroo Island is ‘‘Australia’s answer to the Galapagos’’.
‘‘On Kangaroo Island there is nothing between you and the Antarctic, which represents a very simple holiday. I am going there in January with my family.’’
2013 will be all about Bangkok and Phuket. ‘‘They have the reputation for being five-star heaven for three-star prices. Vietnam comes a close second, again because you can get a fivestar room for $100 a night. How can you compete with that?’’ Locally, Hook believes city events will drive visitor numbers. ‘‘Whether it be a new stage play, or a sporting event, such as the Ashes coming to Australia, people are going to take more and more short breaks in Australia.’’
agrees that Thailand is ‘‘always a winner’’.
Hua Hin, three hours south of Bangkok, has great food, markets, massages, Thai hospitality and a lessintense atmosphere than other Thai hotspots such as Phuket, he says. Goldman recommends the Hyatt Regency at Hua Hin which, at the equivalent of about $135 a night, is cheap compared with many other Southeast Asian destinations.