ABTA’s Travel Trends Report 2016 has revealed the ’12 Destinations to watch’ for 2016.

Released in association with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the report also highlights emerging trends which will influence holiday habits in the year ahead.

Looking ahead to 2016, the report reveals that 23% of the population are expecting to spend more on their holidays, up slightly from 20% last year.

18% say they will travel to a country they have never been to before in 2016, compared to 9% who said this last year. Furthermore, 23% say they will try a new resort or city, even if they have visited the country before, compared to 10% who said this last year.

ABTA has identified its ‘12 Destinations to watch’ for 2016 which include; Abu Dhabi, Canada, China (the Silk Road), France, Hawaii, Iceland, Iran, Naples and Apulia, Peru, Poland, Queensland in Australia and Sri Lanka.

Key trends identified in the report include a return to the western Mediterranean with destinations, in particular Spain, set for a bumper year with bookings for summer 2016 tracking ahead of previous years as 2015 comes to a close.

Noted in the report, 39% of people with top jobs (in social grade A[1]) said they are planning to spend more on holidays in 2016, compared to an average of 23%. People in social grade B are also more likely than average to spend more next year with 27% stating that they plan to do this. Last year, the ‘holiday-haves’, those classified as social grade A, took an average of 8.0 holidays per person, and this group looks set to continue to drive growth in the holiday market in 2016.

Destinations repositioning themselves to attract specific markets is expected to be a key trend for 2016. A high profile example of this trend is Magaluf, which in 2015 introduced new laws and worked with hotel groups to open hotels aimed at a more affluent and more family oriented market.

A wider availability of new aircraft is also making long haul travel more attractive, as is the abolition of Air Passenger Duty bands C and D in April 2015, which is expected to save British holidaymakers £200m a year.

According to ABTA Members, older holidaymakers are travelling further and are seeking more active or adventurous holidays. New adventure holidays are planned for 2016 to meet demand from customers who ‘grew up in the 1960s and have seen it all’.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive for the association, said: “As we look ahead to 2016, it is exciting to reveal our ’12 Destinations to watch’. It is always inspiring to see the incredible range of destinations and holidays available to people, trends in the rest of the market are also encouraging and show the ability of the travel industry to evolve and innovate to meet customer demand.”

For more information visit www.abta.com/traveltrends2016

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