Portugal, wine and art: 2019 Travel Trends

Viking Cruise has announced its predicted travel and cruise trends for 2019 based on booking patterns and customer insights

Here is a summary of the key trends

Destination Portugal

Once the go-to destination for ‘fly and flop’ beach holidays, travellers are now waking up to the wealth of cultural experiences offered in Portugal. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the country that boasts Lisbon, Porto and the Douro river is set to see a 2.6% rise in tourism every year until 2028[1]. Viking’s Portugal-based itinerary ‘Portugal’s River of Gold’ has almost completely sold out for 2019, forcing the line to open bookings for 2020 early to cope with the demand.

Wine Tourism

Wine, like no other product, acts as a passport to the heart of a destination – its culture and history, food, festivals; its conviviality and people. It is unsurprising therefore that wine tourism to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations – Alsace, Provence, Tuscany and Stellenbosch – is seeing a huge increase in demand. Bordeaux alone has seen an increase in visitors of 61% over the last 15 years. In particular, travellers are looking to combine wine tasting with unique experiences, and the industry expects to report a 30% increase in wine-centric trips by the end of this year.

Art and Travel

Experiencing art whilst travelling is nothing new, with most city breaks centred around visits to art galleries and museums. However, 2019 will see travellers seeking out accommodation that incorporates art into its offering. 2018 for example, saw street artist Banksy open the much-anticipated Anistas Walled-in Hotel in Bethlehem. Viking’s ships are floating galleries and many feature original artwork by celebrated Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch.

Culinary Tours

Almost every city in the world now offers ‘foodie tours’ and the demand for culinary tourism shows no sign of abating in 2019. Recent research released by Viking found that 62% of people like to experience a destination through its food, and ABTA’s 2019 Travel Trends report states that food and drink is now the most important factor for 78% of cruise passengers[3].

Adventurous over-65s

Research carried out by Viking this year revealed that the over 65s are living much more adventurous and active lifestyles than ever before and that this is affecting their travel choices. A week in the Dordogne or a long weekend in Bournemouth no longer cuts it for this generation, and when asked where they would most like to visit were money no object, over half of those aged 65+ (51%) chose the far flung Australia and New Zealand as their most popular destinations. Travel companies are having to adapt to meet the demands of older travellers who still want to do adventurous activities such as motorbike riding, kayaking, hiking and climbing.

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