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6 travel trend predictions for 2016

Explore, the adventure travel specialist, has predicted the key travel trends for the coming year and there is lots to look forward to with more than 90 new trips added to Explore’s portfolio as well as plenty of old favourites. Ashley Toft, Managing Director of Explore commented, “2016 is set to be another exciting year for adventure travel. We have worked hard at Explore to develop new and exciting itineraries to ensure our customers have an unforgettable travel experience – from quirky activities or accommodation, to unique personal touches.” Their hot destinations for 2016 are as follows: Northern Sri Lanka Although Sri Lanka has been on the tourist map for some time, the north still remains virtually untouched and is a world away from the rest of the country. Travel in 2016 to discover a region emerging from over 20 years of isolation and war to fully experience its unique culture and colonial charm, before it changes. Sri Lanka sunrise Explore’s new Discover Northern Sri Lanka is a 16 day trip venturing to a largely unvisited region of this charming island. Visit Mannar, fringed with palm trees, white sand and wild donkeys; and travel to Jaffna by train where there is the chance to visit the many Hindu temples and learn about the Tamil people’s culture and traditions. Spot sperm whales in Trincomalee, search for leopards in the lush landscapes of Wilpattu National Park and discover the famous cave temples in Dambulla. This trip departs in May – October 2016 and costs from £2,079 per person. This price includes return flights; 13 nights’ hotel and one night camping accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; transport and the services of an Explore leader and driver. Swaziland Swaziland has a very complex culture and is home to incredible scenery, but is often only found with a two night stop on most itineraries. As a new, dedicated trip for 2016 there will be the opportunity to explore the country in depth. Swaziland huts Explore’s new Kingdom of Swaziland trip is a 10 day journey through the intriguing country of Swaziland, home to the last true monarchy of Africa. Come face to face with rhino on walking safaris; hike to Malolotja Falls, the highest waterfall in Swaziland and spend the night with the traditional mountain community of Shewula. Spot crocodiles, elephant and giraffe in Mkhaya Game Reserve and learn about the unique beliefs of local witch doctors. This trip departs in May – October 2016 and costs from £1,493 per person. This price includes return flights; four nights’ lodge, two nights’ beehive huts and one night community house accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; transport and the services of an Explore leader and driver. Nepal Since the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, confidence among visitors is slowly returning. Not only will visitors be welcomed by the wonderful Nepalese people, but travelling to Nepal in 2016 will help to rebuild its economy and infrastructure – and help the country get back on its feet. Annapurna, Nepal Explore’s 15 day Annapurna Sanctuary is a challenging graded trekking trip in the Himalayas. Trek through stunning mountain scenery, relax by the lakeside in Pokhara and visit a nearby Tibetan village. During the trek, pass waterfalls, climb through bamboo forest and reach Machhapucchre Base Camp. This trip departs in March, October and November 2016 and costs from £1,796 per person. This price includes return flights; seven nights’ hotel and seven nights’ teahouse accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; transport and the services of an Explore leader, driver, porters and local guides. National Parks, USA 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of USA’s National Park service and to celebrate its centenary; Explore has launched a new walking trip through Moab, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Springdale and Canyonlands. Grand Canyon_100637707 Explore’s new Walking the Western US National Parks is an 11 day walking trip through some of America’s most beautiful national parks. The moderate graded trip begins in Las Vegas, driving along Route 66 for a sunset hike at the Grand Canyon. Discover the steep red cliffs and Angels Landing rock formations of Zion National Park, hike through the sandstone Fisher Towers area of Moab and end the trip in Salt Lake City. This trip departs in March – November 2016 and costs from £1,749 per person. This price includes return flights; six nights’ camping and three nights’ hotel accommodation; most meals; transport and the services of an Explore Leader and driver. Costa Rica Back in August 2015, British Airways announced a new direct flight from London Gatwick to San Jose to begin operating in May 2016, placing Costa Rica firmly in the travel spotlight. With the country opening up with increased infrastructure, now is the time to visit. Costa Rica frog Explore’s Highlights of Costa Rica trip offers an enchanting nine day experience through the country’s rich and abundant rainforests. Visit the Volcan Poas National Park with many fascinating trails to explore and travel to the Monteverde Cloudforest for the chance to see a plethora of spectacular birdlife. There will also be time to enjoy the white sandy beaches and search for wildlife including white-faced capuchin monkeys and sloths. This trip departs in January – April and July – December 2016, and costs from £1,446 per person. This price includes return flights, eight nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; transport and the services of an Explore leader, local guides. Emilia-Romagna, Italy This little-known region north of the Apennines is renowned for its soul-satisfying food, and Explore has launched two new trips to the region for 2016. Quieter than neighbouring Tuscany – but equally as charming – we recommend exploring Emilia-Romagna before visitor volumes increase. Emilia-Romagna Explore’s eight day Cycle Emilia Romagna trip adventures through the ‘gastronomic capital of Italy’ sampling local delicacies including Red Lambrusco and visiting historic towns. Venture through the waterways and wetlands of the Po Delta, journey to the stunning historical town of Ravenna and ride down paths through wetlands rich with birdlife to Comacchio or ‘Little Venice’ – a quiet, unspoilt lagoon town. This trip departs in May, June, August and October 2016 and costs from £998 per person. The price includes return flights, transport, seven nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, Explore Leader, cycle guide, bike hire and transport. Images: Shutterstock

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I’m from Emilia and I was a bit surprise to find it on your predictions of 2016..a nice surprise of course! Beautiful lands, amazing food and strategic position if you want to explore the north/center of Italy!
    I’ve just been in north Sri Lanka and it was absolutely stunning!!

    Love you blog!

  2. Emilia-Romagna has long been known as a quiet less touristy area of Italy and I’m pretty sure it will carry on that way. It does have it’s “hotspots” but there is plenty for the discerning traveller to discover, especially the food, it’s not known as “la grassa” for nothing. It’s an interesting inclusion though an unlikely new trend.

    Best wishes

    Peter Horrocks

  3. What about a Trip to Madagascar? This island deserves your visit as well…

    You will find there all you may looking for : exceptional biodiversity (fauna and flora), breath-taking landscapes, and wonderful sea and beach …

  4. It is a dangerous business to leave your predictions still standing in cyberspace.

    Swaziland seems a good pick, read a fair amount about the place. Costa Rica’s visitor stats continue to improve and Emilia-Romagna is doing nicely too.

    On January 2nd 2016 few people foresaw Brexit and the catastrophic collapse of the pound v the dollar so the National Parks call’ is a wide one for those of us living in the UK.

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