Many tourists like to go to places where practically everyone else has been or destinations where they themselves have visited before. That is why the big trends in travel destinations change very slowly. Nonetheless, looking at the UNWTO tourism statistics for 2017, many travelers are also quick to change their destinations when they have a good reason for it. In 2017, the Mediterranean region, especially South Europe and North Africa, was the big winner in international tourist arrivals.
Many travelers, including myself, would have picked the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France as the most visited site in the world, but according to the statistics collected by El Viajero of El Pais, the Great Wall of China takes the number one spot. Still, 5 out of 10 most visited monuments in the world are in Europe.
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a spectacular phenomenon that occasionally lights up the sky in the far north. Green, blue, red, violet and shades of these colors dance in the sky, forming shapes and pulsating like a work of art. Seeing the lights is a magical moment that you won’t ever forget. No photograph or video can reproduce the impressive play of lights. Here are tips (extracted with permission from the travel guidebook to Lapland) to finding, viewing and filming the Northern Lights.
Too many visitors in a small area is not always a pleasant experience, especially, if you happen to live in that area. When almost all of these visitors only come and go, take a few selfies, leave rubbish behind, have questionable manners (relative to the local culture), but also leave money in the region, residents may still become uninviting towards the visitors. That’s what is happening in some popular travel destinations, particularly in Europe.
In 2017, the hottest travel destination was Portugal. It won so many travel awards that by now, everyone should know it is an exciting destination (if it is a new destination for you, download a travel guide to Algarve, Portugal’s south coast). The hot travel destinations for 2018 that are trending in social media are located in Europe, America, and in some exotic locations across the world.
Even if you have toured the magnificent castles of the Loire Valley in France, you haven’t seen the Mothe-Chandeniers. The magnificent building has been abandoned and closed for years. Now, the power of crowdfunding has saved the castle. 6500 new owners of the castle have invested 500 000 euros in order to buy it.
If you have ever stood in line for hours under the blistering August sun in order to enter the St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican (in Rome, Italy), or in the darkness in the freezing cold of January in Lapland, you have surely sworn that next time you do your research before booking a trip. High and low seasons in travel industry make a big difference how travelers experience destinations and how they spend their travel budgets. Here is a handy map that shows the travel seasons across the world.
One important thing that makes traveling in Europe, especially in countries that have joined the Euro, easy is the common money. You can cross borders, for instance, from France to Italy or from Estonia to Finland without having to worry about currency rates or having to search for a currency exchange kiosk. For travelers, the Euro is the best thing since the bottled water was invented, but also statisticians can take advantage of the common currency, because it makes comparisons between regions easier. Now, Luxembourg has been ranked as the most expensive country in the Euro zone.
A safe travel destination doesn’t mean it is a boring place. On the contrary, if we take a look at the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking for the world’s safest cities in 2017, for instance, Amsterdam has a fairly large red light district with cannabis cafés in the city center, but it still is the sixth safest city in the world. The safest city in the world is Japan’s capital Tokyo.
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday at a popular tourist destination, here are some award-winning recommendations. The World Travel Awards is an annual event for travel industry professionals who vote for the best destinations and service providers. The big winner in 2017 was Portugal.
Aveiro old town in Portugal.
Read the story “World Travel Awards elected the best 2017 destinations in Europe: the hotspot is Portugal”