With the new year fast approaching, Booking.com has compiled its predictions for the top “up and coming” destinations for 2018.
According to Booking.com’s research, nearly half of global travelers (47%) want to take more trips in 2018, from city getaways full of history and culture (41%) to foodie havens (41%) and beach breaks (50%). Nearly half of those (45%) want to be more adventurous in their choice of destination and 60 percent want to do as many activities as possible.
For U.S. travelers the following stand out as emerging destinations for 2018:
- Sapporo, Japan - Many travelers visit Japan for the bustling nightlife of Tokyo or temples of Kyoto, but in 2018 travelers will switch to explore the dynamic city of Sapporo. This city is a great base for exploring the mountains and hot springs of Hokkaido and offers great restaurants, being known best for its variety of seafood. Sapporo's top endorsements by Booking.com travelers include food, seafood and gourmet food, and with four in ten global travelers planning on taking a food and drink trip in 2018, Sapporo is certainly a destination to consider for its thriving food scene alone.
- Nashville, USA - Nashville may be famous for its legendary country music scene, but it's also great for family activities and outdoor pursuits. Music fans will want to browse the museums dedicated to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and catch some live music in bars across the city's vibrant neighborhoods. Nature lovers will want to explore the city's many parks, easily accessible by foot or bike. In 2018, 17 percent of travelers are planning to take a music concert or festival trip, and 36 percent of travelers will be inspired to visit a destination having seeing it on TV. Nashville is on the rise following the success of the drama series named after it. The top endorsements for Nashville by Booking.com travelers are live music, country music, entertainment and nightlife.
- Bucharest, Romania - The elegant city of Bucharest is new to the alternative city break scene and a great option because of its museums, parks, trendy cafés and mix of art nouveau and modern architecture. In the summer make sure to rent a boat in Cişmigiu Gardens and come winter, hunker down in one of the city's many cozy coffee shops. The top endorsements for Bucharest by Booking.com travelers are architecture, food, museums and the old town. Research showed that 41 percent of travelers are planning to take a city break in 2018.
- Zakopane, Poland - The mountain resort of Zakopane has always been popular for ski holidays but it's attracting more and more travelers for its summer hiking in Tatra National Park. The trend for wellness getaways isn't slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take a health and wellbeing trip in 2018 compared to 2017. The new health and wellness trend for 2018 is set to be more about traveling on two feet with 44 percent of travelers saying they want to go walking in 2018 and 33 percent hiking. The top endorsements for Zakopane by Booking.com travelers are hiking, nature, mountain walks and scenery.
- Taitung City, Taiwan - Though relatively unknown, Taitung City, a relaxed coastal town in Taiwan, has modest charm, cultural diversity and mix of mountains, hot springs, temples and ocean activities, and is on the rise for travelers in 2018. Endorsed by Booking.com travelers for nature, relaxation, seaside and clean air it's definitely one to watch. Head to Green Island for diving, snorkeling and hiking, buy seafood from Fugang Port, relax in Jhihben hot springs and visit Taitung night market to indulge in the local delicacies.
- Brisbane, Australia - When most think of Australia, it's usually the popular cities of Sydney and Melbourne that come to mind, but for a trip down under, why not try the metropolitan city of Brisbane, an up and coming destination for 2018. Travelers will love its restaurant and bar scene, vineyards - and the fact it's surrounded by beautiful beaches. With half of travelers planning to take a beach trip in 2018, Brisbane is a great option. Go surfing at Ocean Beach, soak up the sun at Sylvan Beach, spot dolphins at Red Beach or hang out at the beach style lagoons such as Streets Beach and Settlement Cove. As well as beach life, Brisbane is great for shopping, restaurants, relaxation and entertainment, according to endorsements from Booking.com travelers.
- Bogotá, Colombia - Bogotá is on the rise for 2018, being the hectic heart of Colombia and a great base for exploring the wider country. Travelers will appreciate the new restaurant openings and boutique hotels set amongst 300 year old houses, street art murals and museums. Visitors can explore the city by railway, taking in the sights and sounds of the Colombian capital, and it's essential to try some authentic Colombian coffee from one of the many cafes dotted around the city. Booking.com travelers endorsed it for museums, culture, food and friendly people.
- Portland, USA - The fact that the city's unofficial slogan is "keep Portland weird" should be suitably intriguing, but if that doesn't do it Oregon's largest city offers a buzzing nightlife, fantastic food (there's food trucks on every corner), culture and the great outdoors. Best explored by bike, take a trip to one of the city's many infamous breweries, and nature lovers will love Forest Park and 'City of Roses' at the International Rose Test Garden. Booking.com travelers' top endorsements for Portland are beer, food, restaurants and shopping.
- Lima, Peru - Travelers will need high energy levels to take on Lima - from paragliding to partying, and sunbathing to surfing, The city is becoming more popular for travelers in 2018 and is a great place to spend a few days exploring thanks to the delicious food, rich history and museums. As well as culture and history, Lima is endorsed for food and gourmet food by Booking.com travelers, who love the fact Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of Latin America - so make sure to sample some local delicacies by taking one of the tasty food tours.
- Hannover, Germany - The charming city of Hannover is on the up for its choice of museums, cultural sites and green spaces such as the Herrenhäuser Gärten, Lake Maschsee and Europe 's largest urban forest, the Eilenriede. It's a great city break for culture vultures, so with 31 percent of travelers planning to take a culture and arts based trip in 2018, Hannover is one to visit. Booking.com travelers endorsed Hannover for shopping, city trip, old town and city walks.
To compile the report, data analysts at Booking.com looked at destinations that had the highest increase in YoY bookings from September 2016 - September 2017.