With the New Year around the corner, it’s time to think about holidays. Karen Breen, Barrhead Travel sales director, runs the rule over the fastest-growing destinations for 2020.
With daily flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow, it feels more mid-haul than long haul and a family-friendly alternative to the likes of Tenerife. Dubai’s myriad attractions, ranging from the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall to the Textile Souk and Legoland, are a big draw and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2020. The new year sees yet more luxurious hotels and colourful resorts set to open. However, there’s more to the UAE than the hustle and bustle of Dubai. Within 45 minutes of Dubai Airport, discover a chilled-out world of white beaches, postcard sunsets, terracotta deserts and majestic mountains.
The country’s biggest and most popular summer resort, Sunny Beach, nestling on the southern Black Sea coast, was crowned best value destination in Post Office Travel Money’s holiday costs report. Just along the road is the UNESCO-protected town of Nessebar, where you can wander quaint cobbled streets, take in a history that dates back 3,000 years and enjoy fine fish restaurants.
Visit the world’s biggest collections of orchids at the 160-year old Victorian Botanic Gardens, enjoy a morning snack in Chinatown or take in the beautiful temples and divine food of Little India. Poland
Polish tourism is booming thanks to the increased number of flights to destinations outwith Krakow, still the country’s No1 draw, and the more cosmopolitan Warsaw. Gdansk, a striking city on the Baltic Sea, is a colourful addition to any travel itinerary. It has St Mary’s Cathedral, the largest brick church in Europe, amazing beaches and a stunning Old Town.
Renowned for its geysers, Northern Lights tours and amazing food, Iceland makes for a great short-stay destination. Be sure to visit the stunning Saphhire Caves. Each year, new caves are formed from the melting ice and glaciers, creating stunning sapphire structures. With their puffins and whales, the Westman Islands, off the south coast, are perfect for nature-lovers.
With more hub airports and a direct London-Perth service you can be Down Under within 24 hours. You now no longer need a windfall either, as prices are extremely appealing. Although Sydney still tops most visitors’ bucket lists, many now opt for two weeks in Melbourne, drawn by its cultural diversity, street art and excellent dining options.
Topping travel lists year after year are mainstays such as Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui – islands known for their stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and beach parties. However, inland lie lush jungles, rolling hills and rice paddies.
Prunella Scales and Timothy West’s trips along the Douro in Great Canal Journeys have ensured these river cruises are the hottest travel ticket in town. City breaks to the hilly coastal capital of Lisbon are booming on the back of its 1990s rebirth.
An abundance of diverse resorts continue to attract huge numbers from the UK. The resort city of Antalya has seen a surge in popularity and is loved for its yacht-filled Old Harbour. This picturesque city, with its stunning cliffs, is a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast for its spectacular blue waters. Other resort cities witnessing a huge growth in popularity in the last year include Altinkum, Belek, Bodrum, and Marmaris – the latter known for its popular beach, bustling promenade and lively nightlife.