What’s on your bucket list?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL -

AC­CORD­ING to the lat­est travel stats from TrekkSoft’s 2019 Travel Trends Re­port, 45% of trav­ellers have a travel bucket list in mind for 2019, and 82% of them plan to tick one or more des­ti­na­tions off their list in the com­ing year. Here are G Ad­ven­tures top 10 des­ti­na­tions:

1. JA­PAN

Set to host the Rugby World Cup this year and the Sum­mer Olympics in 2020, Ja­pan is steadily in­creas­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Tot­tori and Hagi are two cities worth see­ing. In

Hagi, re­spon­si­ble trav­ellers can ex­pe­ri­ence the new “G for Good” social en­ter­prise project, the Hagi Home­s­tay As­so­ci­a­tion, which helps lo­cal farm­ers and the el­derly earn an in­come by host­ing vis­i­tors.

2. UZBEK­ISTAN

G Ad­ven­tures has seen a 72% in­crease in trav­ellers to Uzbek­istan over the past five years. At Turk­menistan, trav­ellers can visit bustling bazaars and beau­ti­ful city mosques in Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as nat­u­ral land­scapes such as the Der­weze gas crater, known af­fec­tion­ately as the “Door to Hell”.

3. SENE­GAL

Rich French colo­nial her­itage and plenty of nat­u­ral at­trac­tions make Sene­gal one West-African desti­na­tion to see in 2019. With a new air­port near Dakar opened in 2017, it has be­come eas­ier to reach its dy­namic cap­i­tal, which offers a dizzy­ing ar­ray of sun-kissed beaches, colour­ful mar­kets and mbalax (na­tional pop­u­lar dance mu­sic) fu­elled night­clubs.

4. TAI­WAN

An­other new­comer for trav­ellers” bucket-lists in 2019 is Tai­wan. As food and travel be­come in­creas­ingly code­pen­dent, Tai­wan has a grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion with trav­el­ling food­ies. The New York Times re­cently pro­claimed it “Asia”s most foodob­sessed coun­try”.

5. NORTH­ERN SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka was voted by Lonely Planet as the top coun­try to visit in 2019, with sail­ing trips in the south slowly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, as well as land-based trips to the les­s­ex­plored far-north.

6. JOR­DAN

Jor­dan con­tin­ues to lure trav­ellers to its “Rose City” (Pe­tra) sur­rounded by pink sand­stone cliffs. G Ad­ven­tures has in­tro­duced two new “G for Good” social en­ter­prise projects: the Jia Com­mu­nity Restau­rant which sup­ports lo­cal women in Souf and the Al Numeira En­vi­ron­men­tal Cafe help­ing wa­ter con­ser­va­tion near the Dead Sea.

7. ICE­LAND

Ac­cord­ing to the Ice­land Tourist Board, the coun­try wel­comed

2.2 mil­lion for­eign trav­ellers in 2017, with 32.9% of this to­tal ar­riv­ing dur­ing the win­ter months. The fi­nal sea­son of will again throw the coun­try”s film­ing lo­ca­tions into the spot­light. G Ad­ven­tures also re­ports growth in tourism, with trip re­quests up by 127% in the past two years.

Game of Thrones

8. ETHIOPIA

An­other African desti­na­tion mak­ing trav­ellers’ wish-lists is Ethiopia. Con­sider the route from Ad­dis Abba to Axum and back, ex­plor­ing the Simien Moun­tains Na­tional Park, a UN Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion World Her­itage site, and guided hik­ing ex­cur­sions around Lake Tana to witness the Blue Nile Falls.

9. ITALY

Italy will cel­e­brate the 500th an­niver­sary of artist Leonardo da Vinci’s death on May 2 and there will be a host of cel­e­bra­tions. A pop­u­lar desti­na­tion among South Africans, there are still plenty of places to ex­plore out­side the ma­jor cities, from Tus­cany to Ca­pal­bio.

10. PATAG­O­NIA (AR­GENTINA)

De­mand for G Ad­ven­tures’ trips to Ar­gentina has been steadily ris­ing over the past five years. TrekkSoft re­ports one in five peo­ple plans to take health and well-be­ing trips, so this is just the place to try one. Ar­gentina on July 2 will be treated to a so­lar eclipse.

JOR­DAN con­tin­ues to lure trav­ellers to its ‘Rose City’ (Pe­tra).

BLUE La­goon at Reyk­javik in Ice­land.

AR­GENTINA’S Patag­o­nia El Chal­ten Glacier Na­tional Park.

SRI Lanka’s Ahangama Beach Sun­set.

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