Extremadura: on the list.


Ahead of Sunshine Saturday (tomorrow), one of the busiest days of the year for holiday bookings, ABTA – The British Travel Association has launched its Destinations to Watch in 2024 report.

The new report features 10 countries and regions which are intended to inspire holidaymakers and help inform their decision making as they decide where they will be heading off on holiday in 2024.

ABTA’s most recent consumer research found that 47% of people plan to visit a resort or city they have never been to before (up from 43% in 2022) and 41% a totally new country (up from 38% in 2022).

ABTA research has also found that 64% of people are planning to go abroad this year and 58% plan to take a UK holiday, reflecting the continuing importance of taking a holiday to the British public2.

For the first time ABTA has included a domestic destination, the county of Shropshire, in recognition that many people go on both an overseas and UK holiday and of the great importance of UK breaks to ABTA members and their customers.

ABTA also expects people to be turning to travel agents and tour operators to book their holidays this weekend, and throughout the peak booking period. Customers will be seeking value for money when it comes to holiday bookings this year and getting good value for money is the second most popular reason why people book with a travel professional3.

Graeme Buck, ABTA’s Director of Communications, said:

“The first Saturday in January, known in the travel industry as ‘Sunshine Saturday’, is one of the busiest days in the year for people to book a holiday as they look to take advantage of the great availability and good deals on offer at this time of year. Good value is increasingly important for customers, and many have told us that they will be looking to use a travel professional to get the best possible deal with ABTA members being extremely busy helping people achieve their dream break.

“We know that many people are looking for inspiration and new suggestions of where to go, so our team of experts at ABTA has put together a list of 10 ‘Destinations to Watch’ which offer varied and memorable experiences around the globe. Some are a little unexpected, and all are well worth a visit. The destinations showcase the amazing range of experiences that our world offers to holidaymakers.”

The 10 Destinations to Watch in alphabetical order are:

More and more savvy holidaymakers are discovering this stunning, friendly and good value destination, which is increasingly well served by UK tour operators and good quality accommodation.

The beautiful Caribbean Island of Aruba is increasingly featured by British tour operators, making it much more accessible for holidaymakers looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Greece’s largest island, Crete, is home to spectacular scenery and is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. A must see is the palace of Knossos, an unforgettable reminder of the island’s rich history.

The Spanish region of Extremadura is a largely undiscovered gem, home to three UNESCO world heritage sites and some of the country’s most attractive, historic cities.

This island in the Indian ocean is a dream destination with a combination of perfect beaches and stunning landscapes and extremely welcoming, friendly and hospitable people.

The east German region of Saxony is one of the most memorable parts of this amazing country with historic, stunning cities including the baroque beauty Dresden and hip and happening Leipzig.

This idyllic English county on the Welsh borders has some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, towns and villages. Shropshire is not only a rural gem, it was also the birthplace of the industrial revolution.

The Tyrol
The Austrian Tyrol and its Italian neighbour the Sud Tyrol are rightly famous for their outstanding ski resorts and facilities, but travellers outside of the winter months already know that this area of outstanding beauty has an equally bewitching side.

Visitors to Vietnam can now visit visa free for up to 45 days giving even more time to explore the country’s lively historic cities, stunning landscapes and idyllic beaches.

Zambia offers nature at its finest with a wealth of national parks teeming with wildlife, mighty waterfalls, and friendly vibrant cities. For animal lovers, very few countries compare - with almost a third of the country set aside for wildlife.