Where to travel to save on costs and give back in 2023?
Travel appetite is back, with 2023 set to be the first full year of recovery since the pandemic. G Adventures’ Where to Travel list highlights the best adventures for 2023 that offer affordability and added value in-destination, while still giving back to the local communities.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says while 2023 is set to be the year of full recovery, it’s important travel companies keep their eye on the ball when it comes to sustainability. “Our Where to Travel list this year focuses on value and giving back to local communities. There’s still a lot of pent-up demand for travel, and people have discretionary income from not travelling for two years, but the economic uncertainty is still present.”
1) SRI LANKA – Sri Lanka has been rocked by crises over the past few years with the Easter attacks, COVID-19 and the recent economic crisis all having a devastating impact on tourism. Could 2023 finally be its year? We hope so, as much for the sake of the people impacted in the tourism industry, as the travellers who will come to see its culture and beauty. The devaluation of the currency has made it better value to travel to now, and Sri Lanka has set an ambitious target to attract tourists in 2023.
2) TURKEY – Poised for a strong comeback, Turkey has been impacted by recent events. But with many communities relying on tourism, with many affordable options available, strong airlift and over 140 per cent increase in UK bookings from G Adventures it’s still a great choice for travellers wanting to make their money go further – and to the right places. There is plenty to see and do in Turkey with its incredible scenery and fascinating history, plus opportunities for interaction with local people away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul with its plethora of bazaars, mosques and tea houses. The food is also fantastic and – best of all – it comes at very low prices.
3) JAPAN – While not typically perceived as an affordable travel destination, the yen has dropped by 25 per cent making it one of the best times to head to Japan to save money on the ground. G Adventures has seen a 34 per cent increase in UK bookings for 2023, as the land of the rising sun finally opens up and has the opportunity to experience the halo effect of the Olympics. Hokkaido is likely to be a popular spot to learn about Ainu culture at ‘Upopoy’ – the new National Ainu Museum and Park complex, which opened in 2020.
4) PERU – With Machu Picchu still at only 60 per cent of its pre-COVID capacity, booking early to see this South American treasure is imperative. While many travellers focus on the Inca Trail, there’s plenty of other options for those seeking an alternative. The Lares Trek takes travellers along ancient Andean trails and supports local communities along the way. Plus, with a one-day Inca Trail add-on available, travellers can get the best of both worlds, and still enter Machu Picchu the way of the Incas. Or, for those seeking a more comfortable option while still giving back, National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures trips offer more inclusions, making them an excellent choice for people looking for adventure with a softer landing.
5) THAILAND – With Asia so late to open, Thailand has been slower to return meaning right now there are less tourists and crowds, and prices remain low as it’s not yet been affected by inflation. Thailand is heavily reliant on tourism for jobs and income, so all tourism is welcomed, especially as the all-important Chinese outbound market is yet to return. It is the perfect time for students and young people to hit up South East Asia, and support locally-owned hostels along the way with new ‘Roamies’ trips launching this month, developed by G Adventures in partnership Hostelworld.
6) MOROCCO – Another destination offering excellent value on the ground – as well as trips at an excellent price point – is Morocco, which is seeing a over 150 per cent increase in booking from the UK for 2023. With coastal, desert, mountain and city landscapes on offer, forever photogenic Morocco is easily accessible from European hubs and is a popular choice for those seeking a closer-to-home adventure. G Adventures has launched seven new tours for 2023, ranging from short, weekend breaks to 12 day adventures.
7) MEXICO – Another country where G Adventures has expanded its offering this year is Mexico, with nine new trips for 2023. With a 91 per cent rise in UK bookings, Mexico has proven an increasingly popular option for travellers wanting to make the most of the activities, great food and fun vibe. G Adventures’ new trips get travellers away to more undiscovered locations, making them perfect for travellers who want a taste of the country but not the crowds.
8) EGYPT – We’re hopeful the long-awaitied Grand Egyptian Museum will open in 2023 as currently indicated on its website, encouraging even more travellers to this classic destination where prices remain very affordable. G Adventures’ UK sales are also up over 100 per cent on previous years as Brits look to tick off their bucket list destinations, and Egyptians are eager to welcome travellers back. Get there before the crowds return!
9) SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa is home to some of Africa’s most spectacular parks and wildlife, but the misconception around the high costs of safaris can often put travellers off. G Adventures, however, offers affordable safaris, without the low costs being at the expense of the local communities, meaning travellers can tick off their long-awaited dream safari trip for a fraction of the regular price, as well as enjoying the great prices on the ground.
10) THE BALKANS – With over tourism and crowding catching the headlines for many European destinations this summer, travellers seeking an alternative option can head to The Balkans for a European feel at a fraction of the cost. G Adventures’ Montenegro Sailing trip is an environmentally-friendly option that takes travellers to remote island villages to explore the islands off the coast and spread wealth into these local communities.
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