What is a key travel trend to expect in 2019?
CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, COLONIAL ATMOSPHERE, DUBAI
In 2019, travellers will search for the most authentic experience, the one that makes a trip unique and gives it soul. For example, if you visit Rajasthan and choose to stay in one of the maharaja palaces turned into a hotel, the people you meet there are not only passionate about the place but often also members of the royal family. You may even have the chance to dine with the maharaja and his wife – and believe me, they have fascinating stories to tell. The search for authenticity often comes with a quest for conscious travel, not only concerning the quality of food or a zero-plastic policy, but also the role played by the hotel within the local community. Most of the hotels recommended on our website are environmentally responsible, such as RAAS hotels in India or Sala Lodges in Cambodia. They help by training the local community to work in the hotel business and by promoting local art and crafts in their boutique. And most have chosen to renovate their spaces based on a deep respect for local materials and know-how.
HENRIETTA LOYD FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, CAZENOVE+LOYD, LONDON
We’ve noticed a growing interest in multidestination holidays, with many of our clients wishing to combine two or more countries in one trip and enjoy the highlights of a much wider region in a limited timeframe. There are myriad places that work well together, including Botswana and Namibia, Thailand and Laos, Argentina and Chile, and Lebanon and Jordan – to name just a few. With airline networks burgeoning the world over and flight connections being greatly improved, a multiplestop trip is becoming increasingly easy for travel designers like us to create. What’s more, we’ve found some extraordinary ways for our clients to cross borders, making the actual journey part of the overall experience. For instance, you can travel by luxury boat charter from Thailand to Laos, take a helicopter flight from Kenya to Rwanda, or ride on horseback across Argentina’s enchanting Lake District to Chile – surely the ultimate adventure.
LESLEY PATERSON-BOTHA DIRECTOR AND SENIOR CONSULTANT, TRANS AFRICA SAFARIS, CAPE TOWN
While Victoria Falls remains Zimbabwe’s top resort town, with a number of new properties opening in 2018, we’re seeing a trend of safari companies expanding into Zimbabwe’s national parks. The premier national park, Hwange, has long been popular during the dry months, when herds of animals are drawn to its limited water sources, and several new lodges are making for impressive visitor numbers. Mana Pools National Park is also riding the wave of increased accommodation options with new camps launched in 2018 and additional ones opening this year. This is conceivably the “experience capital” of southern Africa, with game drives, walking safaris, canoe safaris, boating and fishing all on offer. Zimbabwe’s game lodges present good value alongside prolific wildlife, impressive landscapes, experienced guides, varied game-viewing activities and some of the friendliest people. Travellers are increasingly looking for authentic, immersive experiences without breaking the bank and Zimbabwe offers this in spades.
Safari lodges are expanding in Zimbabwe