Travellers seeking more from their destinations are sending the traditional travel trends into a tail spin, with some interesting countries emerging as new interests.

More people than ever are travelling around the globe, with international tourist arrivals on the rise from just 25 million in the 1950s to 1.2 billion in 2016. That is a lot of movement around the globe.

In the past, travel was a luxury, but thanks to lower barriers to travel and falling costs, it is now within the reach of millions. These factors, combined with the growth of disposable income, the rise of the middle class in many emerging markets, and changing attitudes towards travel, have enabled the industry to flourish.


So where are people travelling in 2017?


Spain is the safest, cleanest, and cheapest place in the world for tourists according to results from the World Economic Forum’s annual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. Spain scored high on air transport, tourism services, cultural resources (things like museums, stately homes and popular attractions) and business travel.

France ranked second, with strong scores for cultural resources, port and ground infrastructure, followed by Germany, which had the highest health and hygiene score out of any other country.

However, while North America and Europe have generally dominated travel markets, this may not be the case for much longer. By 2030 most of the growth in international travel will come from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, which will enable further growth and job opportunities in these regions.

Markets in Europe and the Americas will continue to grow at a rate that is incomparable to other regions, a trend that is on track to continue. The travel landscape is changing though. Outbound travel from Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific is expected to grow exponentially in the coming decade. Developing and emerging markets are not only becoming larger source markets, but are also improving their own travel and tourism offers to position themselves as more attractive destinations, thus helping their industries develop further.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the fastest growing countries for leisure travel spending are India, Angola, Uganda, Brunei, Thailand, China, Myanmar, Oman, Mozambique and Vietnam.

With international arrivals expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030, more countries are vying for a piece of the pie, enhancing their travel and tourism competitiveness.

This growth in demand is here to stay. The shift from north-to-north to south-to-south tourism is on the rise and will continue to increase as these countries improve their competitiveness and develop their travel and tourism sectors.

Meanwhile, what are the people’s choice for 2017? TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards have ranked in order; Bali, London. Paris, New York, Crete, Barcelona, Prague and Phuket rounding out the top 10.

Where are you planning to escape to in 2017?