Set to host the Rugby World Cup this year and the Summer Olympics in 2020, Japan is steadily increasing in popularity. Tottori and Hagi are two cities worth seeing. In Hagi, responsible travellers can experience the new “G for Good” social enterprise project, the Hagi Homestay Association, which helps local farmers and the elderly earn an income by hosting visitors.
G Adventures has seen a 72% increase in travellers to Uzbekistan over the past five years. At Turkmenistan, travellers can visit bustling bazaars and beautiful city mosques in Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as natural landscapes such as the Derweze gas crater, known affectionately as the “Door to Hell”.
Rich French colonial heritage and plenty of natural attractions make Senegal one West-African destination to see in 2019. With a new airport near Dakar opened in 2017, it has become easier to reach its dynamic capital, which offers a dizzying array of sun-kissed beaches, colourful markets and mbalax (national popular dance music) fuelled nightclubs.
Another newcomer for travellers” bucket-lists in 2019 is Taiwan. As food and travel become increasingly codependent, Taiwan has a growing reputation with travelling foodies. The New York Times recently proclaimed it “Asia”s most food-obsessed country”.
5. Northern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was voted by Lonely Planet as the top country to visit in 2019, with sailing trips in the south slowly gaining popularity, as well as land-based trips to the less-explored far-north.
Jordan continues to lure travellers to its “Rose City” (Petra) surrounded by pink sandstone cliffs. G Adventures has introduced two new “G for Good” social enterprise projects: the Jia Community Restaurant which supports local women in Souf and the Al Numeira Environmental Cafe helping water conservation near the Dead Sea.
According to the Iceland Tourist Board, the country welcomed 2.2million foreign travellers in 2017, with 32.9% of this total arriving during the winter months. The final season of Game of Thrones will again throw the country's filming locations into the spotlight. G Adventures also reports growth in tourism, with trip requests up by 127% in the past two years.
Another African destination making travellers’ wish-lists is Ethiopia. Consider the route from Addis Abba to Axum and back, exploring the Simien Mountains National Park, a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation World Heritage site, and guided hiking excursions around Lake Tana to witness the Blue Nile Falls.
Italy will celebrate the 500th anniversary of artist Leonardo da Vinci’s death on May 2 and there will be a host of celebrations. A popular destination among South Africans, there are still plenty of places to explore outside the major cities, from Tuscany to Capalbio.
10. Patagonia (Argentina)
Demand for G Adventures’ trips to Argentina has been steadily rising over the past five years. TrekkSoft reports one in five people plans to take health and well-being trips, so this is just the place to try one. Argentina on July 2 will be treated to a solar eclipse.