Here is international tour operator Scott Dunn’s compilation of predictions for the luxury travel sector in 2019.
Scott Dunn’s travel specialists have applied their expertise to curate a list of trends they anticipate to be on the rise (as well as those that won’t be as popular) alongside their pick of what they deem will be the hottest, most sought after destinations for the year ahead. Countries on the list include:
- Northern Peru
- United States
GOING UP: ASTROTOURISM
• Reflecting the continuous rise in popularity for “astrotourism” (Scott Dunn’s bookings for astro-experiences have tripled over the last four years), eclipse itineraries will be offered in Argentina to make the most of the eclipse that’s slated to envelope a part of the region in total darkness on 2 July 2019.
• Estancia Los Potreros in Cordoba will be the best place to view the total eclipse.
• Scott Dunn also continues to offer exceptional stargazing experiences across the globe from Portugal to Chile, working with world-renowned astronomers and observatories that scope the night sky.
• New to Scott Dunn’s portfolio, São Lourenço do Barrocal in Portugal offers stargazing within the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. This is a protected area with no light pollution and a huge telescope for observing the night sky. With an expert, guests learn about astronomy and the world beyond.
THE QT BREAK
• Standing for “quality time” break, Scott Dunn is seeing a rise in parents or grandparents taking one child at a time on a one-on-one adventure, as time together continues to be a precious commodity.
• Travel experts at the luxury tour operator can organise exhilarating and activity-focused short breaks to create bonding moments where adults and children are having equal fun.
• For the ultimate parent and child bonding experience, Scott Dunn recommends a short getaway to Nepal to explore bustling Kathmandu and the more relaxed city of Pokhara, with its array of adrenaline pumping activities. Parents will love the cultural aspect and introduction to the history of Nepal, while children will love putting the parents through their paces with zip lining, some of the world’s best paragliding and hiking trails.
OUT OF HOURS
• As travellers continue to seek out the most unique experiences, Scott Dunn is offering more and more out of hours encounters, with exclusive access to some of the world’s most sought-after sites and museums including a sunrise picnic at Christ the Redeemer, access to the Vatican before it opens to the crowds and late-access to Bangkok’s Reclining Buddha after it shuts to the general public.
• Scott Dunn has seen a rise in “transformative” travel. Experiential travel has been the buzzword for the last few years, but guests are now asking for more than this, they are looking for experiences that can transform them, the communities and landscapes they visit. Guests are not only making memories, but also a global difference.
• Scott Dunn’s “Make A Difference” collection of experiences around the world inspires guests with ways to help give back and gain a broader understanding of the cultures and communities they are visiting.
• The tour operator also works closely with ‘ME to WE’, an immersive voluntourism programme found in Rajasthan, Kenya and Ecuador that guests can include as part of an India itinerary.
GOING DOWN OVER TOURISM
• With islands like Santorini putting a limit on tourism, and Venice struggling with the numbers of visitors, Scott Dunn guests are increasingly avoiding overcrowded destinations during the peak seasons and are seeking less populated, lesser-known secondary places such as Ljubljana in Slovenia, Alesund in Norway and Porto in Portugal.
FLY AND FLOP MAKES WAY FOR FLY AND TRY
• As the luxury traveller seeks fulfilling, activity-led holidays, Scott Dunn’s own villas in the South of France and Mallorca will expand with a new range of activities including olive oil sampling, vintage car drives and yoga combined with wine tasting.
DESTINATIONS TO WATCH: THE NEW NORDIC – SLOVENIA
• Europe’s hidden gem offers spectacular mountain scenery, forests and lakes and a fascinating history –
renowned for a predominance of castles and a thriving cultural scene. Scott Dunn’s guests can now enjoy a range of thrilling itineraries throughout the country with endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, rafting and private cultural tours.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 10-night best of Croatia and Slovenia itinerary from US$13,100 per person.
• Chile has just announced three new scenic trekking routes through its Patagonia wilderness covering 2,800km from Puerto Montt down to Cape Horn. The trails include the Southern Way, the Patagonian channels and the End of the World Route.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 10-night highlights of Patagonia itinerary from US$13,100 per person.
• As Machu Picchu visitor numbers reach an all-time high, Scott Dunn is developing its less explored Northern Peru offering and introducing Chachapoyas – a region in Peru’s high Andes, covered in cloud forest and home to the pre-Inca hilltop ruins of Kuelap. With only a handful of visitors at any time, guests will have a truly off-the-beaten track experience far from the crowds of the Sacred Valley.
The impressive Gocta Waterfall is also here, hidden in a rocky canyon and immersed in cloud forest, the falls can only be reached by trekking with a private guide. Adding to intrigue for archaeology fans, the Karija sarcophagi statues (Mummy Cases) located high up the mountainside can also be easily reached with a guide from Chachapoyas.
• Scott Dunn will also introduce the Trujillo region to its portfolio – home to the Chan Chan ruins, Huacas del Sol y la Luna and Huaca Dragon – all impressive adobe ruins out in the desert.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 10-night Northern Peru in depth itinerary from US$5,100 per person
RWANDA –NEW OPENINGS WITH A FOCUS ON CONSERVATION
• More luxurious high-end properties are set to open in 2019. Wilderness opens its second property – Magashi Camp – in early 2019 in Akagera National Park, repopulating this magnificent wilderness with lion and black rhino.
• Singita is also due to open Kwitonda Lodge in late 2019 on the edge of Volcanoes National Park. Working in close partnership with the Rwandan Development Board and local communities, Singita will be putting gorilla trekking within easy reach of a classic safari with Singita on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania.
• A third hotel Nyungwe House is the newest luxury lodge within the One & Only portfolio, offering guests a range of guided walking excursions including chimpanzee and monkey trekking, and impressive views over the Nyungwe rainforest canopy.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers 6 night trips to Rwanda from US$16,000 per person.
• As the political situation stabilises, interest in the country has once again increased, with camps reopening and new properties being built. Recent re-openings include Singita Pamushana Lodge, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and Chikwenga. New properties that opened in 2018 include the Stanley, the Livingstone Boutique Hotel and Nyamatusi.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers 9-night trips to Zimbabwe from US$6,200 per person.
• Scott Dunn has recently re-launched Georgia and South Carolina in the enchanting south, both boasting small town communities steeped in history, sprawling plantations and glistening coastlines. With Singapore Airlines’ launch of direct flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles and re-launch of direct flights to New York, the US has become a lot more accessible for South-east Asia based travellers.
• HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 16-night classic Georgia and South Carolina itinerary from US$5,200 per person.
Contact: www.scottdunn.com/ +65 3163 0438
TRENDS & STATS: GENERAL TRENDS
• Scott Dunn predicts a rise in travelling with gut health in mind, as more and more guests are choosing healing holidays over indulgent trips. There has been an increasing number of educated guests choosing specific retreats catered to holistic wellness detoxes at resorts like Santani in Kandy, Sri Lanka, which offers tailored packages focused on Ayurveda, Detox, Weight Loss, Sleep, Balance, Addiction, Stress or Yoga.
• A growing trend in trips to multi-destinations with the development of better flight routes. In Africa, people are combining a variety of experiences into one bucket list trip. Another new popular itinerary is Morocco followed by a traditional safari. In Europe there has been an increase in active outdoor combinations such as combining Alpine skiing and Scandinavia, while in South America Argentina and Brazil have become increasingly popular.
• Multi-generational trips continue to be strong, with outbound travel from Southeast Asia selling mainly to Sri Lanka, New Zealand or the Mediterranean in Europe, all destinations that offer premium larger villa style accommodation for groups. Scott Dunn offers a range of luxury villas in Mallorca and the South of France, each with a villa manager, private chef and nannies, if required, which have been increasing in popularity for Asia- based travellers booking holidays for extended family.
• Duo destination breaks will see an increase in popularity for the Asian market, with 5 long weekends in 2019 allowing ample opportunity to extend what may have previously been a short city weekend getaway. Scott Dunn predicts to see a resurging interest in regional duo-destination breaks such as Tokyo and Osaka, Phnom Penh and the Koh Rong islands, Yangon and Inle Lake, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An and more.
MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS
• Europe continues to be one of the most enquired destinations, in particular France, Italy & Greece. Scott Dunn recently sent one of the Asia-based Europe specialists to Italy & Greece to ensure that the team’s knowledge is unrivalled as being the best and most up-to-date in the industry.
• Ski enquiries have continued to grow with increasing numbers from guests in Singapore and Australia.
• Thailand remains a top-seller in Southeast Asia with 32% more enquiries than Vietnam and 45% more enquiries than Indonesia.
• As predicted last year, Oman hugely grew in popularity, enquiries increased by 31% with a particular focus on getting off the beaten track and unique experiences.
• Sri Lanka is the most enquired Indian-subcontinent country, mostly for honeymoon guests who are combining it with the Maldives.
• Bhutan enquiries more than doubled in a year which could be due to media buzz around new property
openings, including the Six Senses lodges.
• Enquiries for Japan & China have also significantly grown year on year (on average 60% increase). There has been a lot of development work for both destinations offering more discerning guests a wider portfolio.
• Since introducing the Central Asia portfolio earlier this year, Scott Dunn is already seeing a good level of interest from guests based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
• Africa enquiries and bookings are expected to increase in 2019, in particular to Botswana and Tanzania.
• Scott Dunn’s small group tour programme, Signature Departures, continues to launch new set departures to once-in-a-lifetime destinations such as The Silk Road, Papua New Guinea and Mongolia.