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Traveler of the year

G Adventures Predicts 2020 Hot Spots Where Tourism Dollars Count

by Felicity Long

Dec 31, 2019

G Adventures

Listicles

Travel companies love to come up with lists of predicted hot spots for the coming year, and G Adventures is no exception. The company analyzed its data and coupled it with travel trends to forecast the 12 hottest spots in 2020.

 

What makes this list stand out is the predictions not only include lesser-known gems, but also some destinations where tourism can be a positive force for local people, according to Bruce Poon Tip, founder, G Adventures.

 

“In a world that’s becoming increasingly divided, travel can be a vehicle and force for good to unite us as a global community,” Poon Tip said. “When we return from a transformative travel experience, we can then bring back what we learned to make a difference in our own communities. That’s what we call the ripple effect,” he said.

 

Here are G Adventures top 12 picks, all of which can be experienced through the company’s tour portfolio.

 

Nepal

It’s hard to believe 2020 will already mark five years since the April 2015 earthquake hit Nepal. In the intervening years, the country has been busy rebuilding and is now encouraging tourism to return with the launch of its Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, which aims to attract 2 million visitors in the coming year. G Adventures experienced a 90 percent increase in travelers since 2017, and is offering a new Wellness Nepal tour that immerses travelers in local culture while they enjoy an introduction to the place and its people.

 

Nepal Everest Basecamp Hikers. Photo: G Adventures

 

Georgia

Wine lovers already know the country of Georgia for its prize-winning varietals, and its cuisine is also gaining traction among international travelers. G Adventures is reporting a 44 percent increase in travelers over the past three years, and these numbers are likely to go up, thanks to Georgia’s upcoming role as host to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization June 2020 board meeting. New budget flight routes through Europe will also help open this emerging destination.

 

Madagascar

Located off the coast of southern Africa, Madagascar bookings jumped 33 percent for G Adventures in the past three years. As a result, the company expanded into the northern part of the country for 2020, where travelers can spend time on Nosy Be, known as “lemur island.” The company is also partnering with a new Planeterra community tourism project that aids reforestation of the habitat around Ranohira for native and endangered species.

 

Madagascar Wildlife Lemur Tree. Photo: G Adventures

 

Sri Lanka

Just as it was beginning to make travelers’ A list, Sri Lanka took a hit following the Easter attacks last April, to the point that arrivals fell 71 percent in May — the lowest number since the civil war ended a decade ago — according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. The good news is all foreign advisories have since been lifted and travelers who go now can not only enjoy this beautiful destination, but they can also help support the locals who benefit from tourism.

 

Sri Lanka Sailing Jaffna Town Local Market Vendor Man Bananas. Photo: G Adventures

 

Ireland

In Ireland, women are encouraged to be the ones proposing marriage to their sweethearts during leap years, and 2020 will be no exception. So, if romance is on your mind, next year is a great time to visit. Also, Galway has been named as a European Capital of Culture for 2020, which means the beautiful city will go all out to give you and your family a good time.

 

Ireland Northern Ireland Giants Causeway Landscape. Photo: G Adventures

 

​​​​​​​Nicaragua

Thanks to widely publicized political unrest, this beautiful country, known for its colonial cities and surfing beaches, had a rough year in 2018 — so much so the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism saw a 28 percent drop in visitor arrivals that year alone. But now friendly locals are looking to lure wannabe visitors back and G Adventures is returning to the destination this year.

 

Nicaragua Leon Historic Church Architecture. Photo: G Adventure

 

​​​​​​​Brazil

After a lull of several years, Brazil is back on travel hot lists and G Adventures has seen a 10 percent increase in interest in the last year. Rio de Janeiro has been named the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO, and visa requirements have been relaxed, making the destination even more appealing and accessible.

 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

G Adventures is offering a new sailing trip to the relatively untouched islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Explore hidden coves and secluded beaches in a comfortable catamaran, with time to snorkel in some of the Caribbean’s best sites and indulge in local Creole cuisine. ​​​​​​​

 

Laos

According to the Ministry of Tourism, traveler numbers to Laos for the first half of 2019 have increased 5 percent compared to the same time last year, and to encourage more tourism, as of June 2019 all international visitors to Laos have been eligible to apply online for a single-entry visa for a maximum stay of 30 days. G Adventures Laos adventure enters the country by boat, sailing the Mekong into the heart of the destination.

 

Laos Pak Beng Mekong River Boat. G Adventures

 

Japan

The fanfare around Japan’s upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics resulted 23 percent growth in tourism arrivals in the past year. With the launch of its new National Geographic Family Journeys program, G Adventures is extending experiences to include children aged 7 and up, round-trip from Tokyo. ​​​​​​​

Japan Koyasan Mt Koya Temple Japanese Calligraphy. Photo: G Adventures

 

South Africa

It will be 30 years next year since Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and G Adventures has been experiencing double-digit growth in South Africa for the past few years. As a result of increased interest, paired with the opportunity to change lives through travel, a new Planeterra project has been launched to help educate travelers about the Indigenous San culture. G Adventures is also debuting a new National Geographic Family Journeys trip, the Southern Africa Family Journey, from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. ​​​​​​​

 

South Africa Blyde River Canyon Landscape. Photo: G Adventures

 

Greenland

This unspoiled European destination hit the headlines earlier this year with search results doubling over speculation on whether or not it was for sale (it isn’t). G Adventures’ Expedition ship traverses Greenland’s coast on a two-week Arctic Highlights voyage from Longyearbyen to Reykjavík.

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