I can see it now. The travel crystal ball for 2012 shows amazing destinations, interesting price trends and, wait, is that Myanmar? Here’s a look at where travel is headed this year - what’s hot, what things will cost and must-dos for people who want to be on the cutting edge.
Hot destinations for 2012: Uganda Myanmar (Burma) Ukraine Jordan Denmark
Best deals: Costa Rica - still cheap Japan - needs visitors Mediterranean - ship glut Orlando - many deals Thailand - still cheap
Don’t go here: Syria. Danger and conflict destroyed fragile tourism efforts
Or here, either: Republic of South Sudan Cote d’Ivoire Afghanistan North Korea Iran Iraq
Trending up: Indonesia Ghana Malaysia Nepal Romania Iceland Abu Dhabi
Lodging fads: Women-only hotel floors Renting out your backyard to travellers
In-crowd hangouts: Sri Lanka Toronto St. Vincent / Grenadines Guimarães, Portugal Abu Dhabi Costa Navarino, Greece Xishuangbanna, China
Cost of U.S. travel: Coach airfare: Will go up 2 percent-5 percent Business class: Will go up 5 percent-7 percent Car rentals: Will go down as much as 1 percent Hotel rates: Will go up 1.5 percent-6.5 percent
We plan most trips: 4 or fewer weeks ahead: 21 percent 5-7 weeks ahead: 15 percent 8 or more weeks ahead: 64 percent
Be the first on your block: Try this tour: "Forgotten Corner of South America" - Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, 19 days, Geographic Expeditions (www.geoex.com)
On the horizon: Toronto: Construction of a rail link between Pearson International Airport and downtown’s Union Station starts in the spring and should be complete by 2015, when Toronto hosts the Pan Am Games. Las Vegas: Construction of an entertainment complex, Linq, featuring the High Roller (a 550-foot wheel like the London Eye) is supposed to get under way any day now on the Strip near the Flamingo. It’s expected to be finished in 2013.
Splendid but few tourists: Russia. Despite the Hermitage, palaces, incredible history and architecture in Moscow and St. Petersburg, tourism is lacklustre. Visit now before the Winter Olympics in 2014 makes it a hot destination.
Travel trends for this year: "Ends of the Earth" journeys to remote destinations Personal growth trips Ancestral travel - discover your heritage
Boom! In 2012: It’s the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, plus the continuing Civil War sesquicentennial in the U.S.. Look for trips and commemorations galore.