When it comes to knowing what’s on the radar for travellers looking for a new and culturally adventurous trip, the experts at G Adventures have their fingers firmly on the global pulse. Here they identify the top 10 destinations for travellers in 2017, based on G Adventures’ sales trends and world events.
1. BHUTAN – 2017 has been designated by the UN as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, so where better to visit than the world’s eco-friendliest country and as of this year, the world’s first carbon negative country. A huge achievement for a place that bases its political decisions on the happiness of its people, and that declared environmental protection is integral to GNP (Gross National Happiness). A 10-day Bhutan Adventure is priced from £1,999pp*.
2. CANADA – 2017 is a year of celebration for the Great White North, with the 150th anniversary of Confederation taking place, and the country opening up its national parks free of charge for the year. Canada’s profile has been raised by the recent visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and its charismatic prime minister Justin Trudeau, who recently appeared shirtless on a family hike in Quebec’s Gatineau Park. The all new for 2017 National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures Canadian Polar Bear Experience is six days and priced from £4,379pp.
3. MONTENEGRO – This Balkan beauty has become a hotspot for celebrity visits with Harrison Ford and Rita Ora both spending time there in 2016. At a time when travellers are looking for affordable and accessible Europe, Easyjet obliged by launching flights from London to Tivat this summer. In 2017, G Adventures becomes the first operator to offer small group sailing around Montenegro’s coast. An eight-day Montenegro Sailing trip from Dubrovnik return is priced from £899pp.
4. IRAN – Iran officially secured its title of “it” destination when British Airways launched a direct flight from London to Tehran in September. G Adventures’ sales have doubled in the past year, and that trend is set to continue with the reopening of the consulate in London and increased investment in tourism infrastructure in the country. A 14-day Iran – Discover Persia trip is priced from £1,999pp.
5. EGYPT – Travellers are starting to return to Egypt (G Adventures reports a 16% increase in travellers from the UK year-on-year), but numbers aren’t yet what they were pre-revolution, so it’s a great time to visit to see some of the world’s most historic monuments. Egyptair reinstated its flights to Luxor this month, and G Adventures CEO (chief experience officer) SemSem Saied just won the Gold prize at the Wanderlust World Guide Awards. A 14-day Highlights of Egypt trip is priced from £1,099pp.
6. MADAGASCAR – G Adventures’ sales to Madagascar are up 25% year-on-year, and the country is experiencing a comeback from recent years of diplomatic and financial isolation, with foreign investment helping improve infrastructure. In late 2015, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the International Trade Centre partnered with Madagascar’s Ministry of Tourism on a four-year project aimed to increase sustainable tourism and boost economic growth in Madagascar. G Adventures has launched a new trip for 2017, the Baobab and Tsingy Explorer. An eight-day trip is priced from £999pp.
7. GREENLAND – As well as being able to see the northern lights, the discovery of a 372-year-old shark this year will have nature lovers in a frenzy for Greenland, which could become the new Iceland as travellers look for places less travelled. It’s an expensive destination to travel on land still, so an ideal way to get there is by expedition vessel. A 15-day Arctic Highlights trip onboard the G Expedition is priced from £3,499pp.
8. CAMBODIA – Cambodia has been in the spotlight recently for reasons old and new. 2016 saw the well-publicised discovery of an ancient city below Angkor Wat. There have also been on-set pictures circulating of the film version First They Killed My Father, a biography about the Cambodian genocide. This will be released as a Netflix Original at the end of 2016, is directed by Angelina Jolie and has been cast entirely with local talent. A nine-day Cambodia Experience trip is priced from £689pp.
9. UNITED STATES – August 21 sees a total eclipse of the sun take place in the United States for the first time in 26 years. It will be best seen in the western states. G Adventures‘ National Parks of the Northwest US trip departing August 12 will be in the region on August 21, 2017 and is priced from £2,349pp for a 15-day trip.
10. SOUTH KOREA – So-Ko might having a fashion and beauty moment, but there are plenty of other reasons to check it out in 2017. South Korean novel The Vegetarian just won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and attention will be turning to the country in the build-up to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. The Korean Tourist Board has also just joined forces with Japan and China to create the new ‘Visit East Asia’ partnership, encouraging travel to all three countries. A 10-day Best of South Koreatrip is priced from £1,999pp.
For more information or to book visit www.gadventures.co.uk
* Prices do not include flights. For inclusions, see trip links above.