Travel trends in 2019: Hot destinations, voluntourism and hidden gems
From the horse's mouth
It's never too early to plan for the future; especially when it comes to sating your wanderlust. We turned to luxury travel operator Scott Dunn to spill the tea on where to flock to next year.
Astrotourism is happening
Eclipses aren't going anywhere. Estancia Los Potreros in Cordoba will be the best place to view the total eclipse that's slated to envelope part of the region in total darkness in July 2019. 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. São Lourenço do Barrocal in Portugal also 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 on the tour, guests can learn about astronomy and the world beyond.
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. They aren't just 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 program found in Rajasthan, Kenya and Ecuador that guests can include as part of an India itinerary.
With islands like Santorini putting a limit on tourists and Venice struggling with the numbers of visitors, more travellers 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.
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.
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.
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 offthe-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.
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 lions and black rhinos. 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.