Here at STA Travel, we’re all very excited about 2013. A whole new year and a whole new set of amazing travel experiences to be had.
Last week, our Store Managers reviewed the year of travel that was 2012 and this week, they’re back to share their predictions for next year. If you’re keen to step away from the crowd, get off the beaten track and do something a little different next year, take a look at what our most experienced and knowledgeable staff think will be the must places to see and the things to experience in the 12 months ahead.
What are the hot destinations and experiences of 2013?
Sonja Wright, STA Travel Bristol
2013 is definitely about being different and getting off the beaten track. We have seen a lot of people no longer wanting to do Thailand as their main Southeast Asia destination and are looking to Vietnam as a less commericalised alternative. Burma is also becoming a lot more popular, as is Nepal. We are predicting this trend to continue 2013 as a lot more people want to stand out from their friends!
Since opening its doors to tourists, Burma is becoming increasingly popular
Hayley Barnett, STA Travel Canterbury
Backpackers are increasingy keen to get off the beaten track so although the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand route remains the most popular people want to add in something different to make their trip stand out from the crowd. We have already seen an increase in enquiries for itineraries with Borneo, and the Pacific Islands included and in 2013 we are expecting this to continue with focus on up and coming destinations like Burma and Colombia.
Ben Hendry, STA Travel Portsmouth
Work visas in general have been asked about more than ever in the closing months of 2012 and I feel that next year there will be an increase across the board with the Canadian work visas seeing the largest increase of all.
Theon Pearce, STA Travel Brighton
With The Hobbit film upon us, I forsee that New Zealand will become more popular throughout 2013 for both customers wishing to work and those just wanting to holiday.
Volunteering is another area I’m expecting growth with more and more people becoming aware that they can not only travel through but also give back to the countries that they’re visiting. Popular areas/projects in 2013 will primarily remain working with elephants in northern Thailand but I also expect projects in Central America will become more popular too.
Jemma Rigby, STA Travel Liverpool
We predict Sri Lanka will grow in 2013. It’s a beautiful destination, it’s cheap and is available as an online stopover enroute to Australia. We also think Central America will continue to grow with customers venturing to Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.
Costa Rica is full to bursting with incredible wildlife and stunning scenery
Claire Smith, STA Travel Warwick
The second half of the year we have started to see a rise in enquiries for trips to the United States which i think will only increase in 2013. Enquiries and bookings for next year so far have ranged from short breaks in Las Vegas to road trips across the country. Flights are affordable, flying time is not too long and there is something for everyone whether it’s a city break or beaches or a combination of both!
Emma Loades, STA Travel Exeter
We are getting more and more enquiries about working in Canada and the USA. Due to the recent changes with BUNAC and the USA, sadly less people are able to work in the US but many are very keen on going to Canada as an alternative to the US or Australia and New Zealand.
Laura Hughes, STA Travel Reading
My prediction for 2013 is a surge in travel to South America. We have already seen its increase in popularity this year and I think this will continue to grow through out next year. We have some fantastic products for South America to suit everyone’s needs so this will really inspire those wanting to explore the continent.
Laura Macleay STA Travel Glasgow Byres Road
Next year will still have the popular destinations of Australia, North America and Southeast Asia however there are a few sneaky, very interesting destinations about to hit the travel-geek!
North Korea has opened its doors and STA Travel can sell trips there from May 2013. There are rules to be adhered to though; no mobile phones and paying respects to Kim Jong-il are a requirement of your visa, however who wouldn’t want a first glimpse in there?!
Interestingly the increased flights with Turkish Airlines from the UK are going to drive more UK based travellers to the culinary capital of Turkey – Istanbul. We’ve got some fantastic trips round Turkey which make STA Travel customers realise that there is more to Turkey than pristine beaches & crystal clear water – although who wouldn’t say no to those?
Istanbul is an intensly beautiful city and Laura predicts it will really attract attention in 2013
Will Chapman, STA Travel Cambridge
Predictions for 2013 are that this adventurous streak in our customers will see them heading to places less travelled! Burma and Colombia would be 2 destinations I think we will see as increase of enquiries for, as political issues calm down and they become easier to travel through.
Peter Belby, STA Travel Cardiff
I think we’ll see more mature travellers. The parents of our younger customers come to us to organise their trips to watch sports around the world, their retirement gap years, their two week holiday and more. These customers are more particular in their requirements they want a bit more comfort, which we can definitely provide!
Adam Thomas, Assistant Manager, STA Travel Victoria London
Our biggest selling destination by far this year has been Asia and I can only see this continuing throughout next year. It has everything every traveler wants to experience. The sight of a cow running towards you on a main road, the smell of incense at a temple, the sound of a tuk tuk’s engine starting up, the taste of Sushi at Tokyo fish market and the spiky touch of an elephants hair. Flight routes via the Middle East and low costs once you arrive, make this destination first choice for most travelers.
Karen Buckley, STA Travel Guildford
Sri Lanka is starting to become a really popular destination based on enquiries to my store, I think we could see a real uplift in tourists heading there in 2013. This could be because the FCO has lifted the advic not to travel there.
Emirates are still providing the low cost fee to stop in Sri Lanka, where our prices are even more competitives than ever and this would incentivise a customer to travel there, especially those who say “I wanna go somewhere hot and remote, what do you suggest?”
Karen, predicts that Sri Lanka will be a popular destination in 2013
Vanessa Lewis, STA Travel Clapham
Volunteering programmes are becoming more popular. Though many of our customers wouldn’t have thought about volunteering, when we suggest it they are very open to hear all about it.
It is something different to do and looks great on a CV. It is a once in a lifetime experience and it is a great way to give back to the community you are visiting. The working with animals projects seem to be the most popular especially the Elephant Conservation in Thailand. There is such a huge range of projects to choose from so there is always going to be something that everyone will want to do.
Adam Mark Bernard, STA Travel York
I think people will spend more time exploring Eastern Europe, as Australia and South America have been popular destinations for so long now, these destinations still hold a bit of excitement, value for money and are seen as something different and daring.
Holly Spanton, STA Travel Norwich
I think the average age of our travellers will creep up, this has been happening for the last few years due to the difficulty to find work in the UK and increased higher education costs. Most young travellers are encorporating a work element in their trips to make a gap year possible, or heading to Asia where costs are lower locally.