Ahead of this year’s Group Leisure & Travel Show, we take a look at some of the hottest destinations for groups to visit.

According to ABTA Travel Trends Report 2019, 12 destinations in particular are looking like great choices this year and next. Among its ‘ones to watch’ are Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Denver, Durban, Galicia, Japan, Jordan, Madeira, Poland, Uzbekistan, and Western Australia.

And if your group are home birds, then there are plenty of UK destinations which will be in the spotlight too.

Hotspots abroad

Bulgaria will be in the spotlight in 2019 as the city of Plovdiv takes the title of European Capital of Culture. STA Travel, Intrepid Travel and Travelsphere are just some of tour operators which offer tours and guided holidays to Bulgaria. For example, Travelsphere’s Bulgaria’s Hidden Heritage eight-day tour visits the capital, Sofia, Plovdiv and its Roman amphitheatre. Varna and Madara among other locations.

According to ABTA, environmental protection and conservation interest will see more travellers heading to Costa Rica’s tropical paradise this year and next. One tour operator that provides group tours to Costa Rica is Tucan Travel. Its tour Costa Rica Encompassed, is an itinerary for nature loving groups and visits national parks, volcanoes, beaches and coral reefs, fitting in with a theme of conservation and environments. Groups sizes for the tour can vary but normally tends to be up to 19 people.

Japan’s popularity seems to only be growing, especially as it warms up for its moment in the rising sun. This year Japan plays host to the Rugby World Cup, and not long afterwards is the summer Olympics in 2020. For 2019, G Adventures has revised its popular Tokyo to Kyoto tour, which will now travel further off the tourist trail to cities including Tottori and Hagi.

Scenic beaches border the busy city of Durban, in South Africa, which is yet another hotspot recommended, and a variety of tour operators run trips including safaris and tours to the area. These include G Adventure and Travelsphere. And as of this year, the city will be easier to get to from the UK with British Airways launching direct flights.

Keel billed toucan in Costa Rica.

Hotspots closer to home

If your group doesn’t like long or short haul trips and prefer the comfort of day trips and UK travel, then never fear as there are plenty of places and attractions which are set to be hotspots in 2019 and 2020.

Buckinghamshire, for example, has plenty going on this year with two new major attractions opening likely to increase footfall. The Silverstone Experience is a new visitor attraction opening in spring 2019 which will take guests on a three-hour journey through the past, present and future of Silverstone and British Motor Racing. A new Heritage Centre at Stoke Mandeville Stadium will celebrate and explore this unique status. A visit to the museum will feature indoor and outdoor displays of: The life and work of Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann; Key milestones in the journey from the 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games; The development of wheelchair sports; and Paralympic ceremonies.

Coventry is another city which has solidified its spot on the map, as it was crowned UK City of Culture for the year 2021, giving you an excuse (if you needed one!) to plan a future trip there in the coming years. In the build-up to 2021, Coventry expects to welcome more visitors than before, pilot new festivals and celebrate Coventry’s ties to special places, events and people.

Hull may have been the 2017 UK City of Culture, but the location is still drawing in crowds, and has now been announced as the host city for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. Besides this, there’s plenty to see and do, from visiting Hull Minster, the aquarium The Deep, The Wilberforce House or even the Streetlife Museum.

Want to exhibit at the Group Leisure & Travel Show?

If you’re interested in exhibiting call Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or email sharon.y@yandellmedia.com.