Where travel journalists are heading in 2019
By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays
What’s the best way to find out next year’s holiday trends? Look where the UK’s leading travel journalists are heading. In the biggest ever survey of its kind, we asked the country’s agenda setters which three destinations they plan to visit in 2019. A total of 85 travel writers and editors took part.
In spite of controversy surrounding the Trump regime, the USA topped our poll with 29 planned trips.
As Britain prepares to leave the EU, we expected to see journalists look to focus more on domestic travel, but the UK was cited just 14 times, only one more than Japan. Of the 14 planned UK trips, four are to Scotland, two to Wales and one each to Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Despite concerns about how Brexit will affect travel to Europe, Britain’s travel writers and editors are not abandoning their EU partners, with many intending to visit France (10), Italy (8), Spain (7) and Greece (6). The other most popular European countries are Portugal (5), Norway (4), Iceland (4) and the Netherlands (4).
But in the age of “busy”, there does appear to be a yearning to escape to the pristine wilderness of deserts, lakes and mountains, with Canada, Australia and Namibia all in the top 10.
Several countries were notable by their absence from the top spots, including some that may have fallen from favour for political reasons. Only one trip is planned to each of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Myanmar. More travel writers and editors plan to visit Ethiopia (2), Zimbabwe (2) and Uganda (3).
No travel journalist in our survey plans to visit Qatar in 2019 and just two say they intend to go to the Maldives.
Top 10 destinations (and number of visits planned)
1. USA (29)
2. UK (14)
3. Japan (13)
4. France (10)
5.= Canada (8)
5.= Italy (8)
7.= Australia (7)
7.= Spain (7)
9.= Greece (6)
9.= Namibia (6)
The travel journalists that took part
Alicia Miller, Assistant Editor, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Amanda Statham, Travel Editor, Cosmopolitan
Anna Hart, Travel Columnist, The Telegraph
Annabelle Thorpe, Editor, 101 Short Breaks
Becky Pemberton, Travel Writer, The Sun
Carmen Roberts, Presenter, BBC Travel Show
Cathy Adams, Travel Editor, The Independent and The Standard
Cathy Bartrop, MD, Travelguru TV
Cathy Winston, Editor, 101 Singles Holidays
Chris Haslam, Chief Travel Writer, The Sunday Times
David Wickers, Co-founder, 101 Holidays
Emma Sparks, Deputy Editor, Lonely Planet
Glen Mutel, Editor, National Geographic Traveller Food
Jane Dunford, Travel Editor, The Guardian
Jane Knight, Travel Editor, The Times
Jane Memmler, Travel Editor, The Express
Jez Lazell, Travel Editor (Scotland), The Sunday Times
Katie Bowman, Features Editor, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Laura Millar, Travel Editor, Metro
Lisa Francesca Nand
Lisa Minot, Travel Editor, The Sun
Liz Edwards, Associate Editor, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Mark Hodson, Editor, 101 Holidays
Mary Novakovich, Editor at Large, 101 Holidays
Nick Redman, Deputy Editor, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Nicky Trup, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveller
Nigel Thompson, Travel Editor, Reach (Mirror, Express, Star)
Pat Riddell, Editor, National Geographic Traveller
Phoebe Smith, Editor at Large, Wanderlust
Richard Hammond, Founder, Green Traveller
Rory Boland, Editor, Which? Travel
Sarah Barrell, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveller
Sarah Marshall, Travel Editor, Press Association
Note: the poll was conducted by us between 17 and 21 December 2018. The journalists were contacted by email or social media and asked “Please name 3 destinations you plan / hope to visit in 2019” and told this could be a country, area or city. If they named two or more destinations in the same country, we counted that country only once (this happened three times).