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Published on Sunday, December 30, 2018

10 travel experts share their predictions for 2019

As 2018 comes to a close, we asked 10 travel experts for their predictions for next year. Here's what they had to say:

Steve Endacott, chairman Teletext Holidays
The only certainty is uncertainty given a looming Brexit, however the drop in fuel prices from $75 to $50 dollars should mean that airlines hold their nerve and keep flight capacity in the market place. So, although I think the January peak may be impacted by a people's referendum and worse a general election, we should still have a healthy lates market as Brexit certainty one way or the other should restore travellers' confidence.

Tom Davies, head of marketing Broadway Travel
After a noticeable seven-year drop, Egypt's hotels and flights are more affordable than ever, which has seen a sudden surge in holidaymakers tempted by reduced rates on four and five-star all-inclusive hotels. The cost of holidaying in Egypt is cheap compared to many parts of Europe, and its year round warm climate means you can bank on high temperatures during winter.

John McEwan, chairman EFR Travel
I see steady but continued growth for the leisure travel market. I think that despite Brexit, consumers will still wish to enjoy a holiday and there will be little disruption, if any to travel plans.~The Deloitte annual report presents a positive outlook for travel in 2019 and forward bookings confirm this. In terms of the holidays themselves, I think we may see a trend to slightly shorter duration holidays as families budget to reflect the fall in value of Sterling, but they will still travel.

Derek Jones, CEO Der Touristik UK
If there was ever a year to not make predictions its probably 2019!~Trusted brands will be important - any economic uncertainty means people will want the security of package holidays and brands they trust. Destination wise we are seeing return of Egypt. Bookings are really strong for Nile cruises in particular. Japan is also seeing significant growth. Tokyo will host the ABTA Convention next year, plus some big sporting events.

Nicola Payne, product and commercial manager Cruise Plus by Travel 2
The cruise market as a whole is doing fantastically well with families. The lines continue to innovate and that just delivers more and more attention onto the sector. Families are realising how much value they get with a cruise. Drinks packages, dining and entertainment make these holidays a real bargain and it is definitely true that the multi-generational groups are growing in numbers. Grandparents don't mind sharing their holiday and spending time with the grandkids when they can escape and do their own thing too.

Alan Harding, marketing director On the Beach
After a 2018 in which Turkey's star ascended, we expect to see the destination's popularity continue to soar next year, as sun seekers are tempted by its combination of fabulous beaches, sunshine and excellent value for money. With the details of a Brexit deal still unclear, more consumers are expected to opt for the added security and confidence of an all-inclusive holiday deal in 2019. Having seen some of Europe's traditional summer holiday destinations like Majorca and Mainland Spain extend their popularity into the winter holiday period, we could well see these destinations lengthen their seasons in 2019."

Tim Fryer, country manager UK & France STA Travel
We think consumers will be looking for more advice and expertise from travel consultants in times of uncertainty over Brexit. We also think there will be a further increase in holidays with purpose, tapping into the demand from today's younger travellers for travel with meaning, allowing them to experience culture from other countries and tours that allow them to give something back.

Andy Stark, managing director Global Travel Group
When it comes to Brexit, we remain positive, so it should be business as usual. Saying that, there's no doubt that there is some degree of hesitation when it comes to travel bookings in March, but nothing too significant. Whether this slight gap in demand is entirely down to Brexit is yet to be seen, but we're confident people will still be booking holidays.

Jo Rzymowska, vice president and managing director Celebrity Cruises UK, Ireland and Asia
Travelling further afield generally continues to be a trend, with cruises to destinations in Asia and South America~growing in popularity. We also see that the urge to experience some of world's most beautiful places~drives traveller spending, with cruises in regions such as Alaska enjoying~demand increases. Despite political scaremongering, the most popular destinations for our UK and Ireland business are cruises in Europe and we see no sign that this trend is abating.

Ashley Pilkington assistant product manager US & Caribbean Gold Medal
The US market is all about entertainment for 2019. As a general rule, the exchange rate has made things challenging, but that has made people think about buying early and taking advantage of deals rather than risk trying to get a late deal. Florida's theme parks are exceptionally busy because of all the new attractions and hotels in the region. Universal has three new hotels coming along with its new Harry Potter ride, and Disney will open its new Star Wars attraction at the end of the year.


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