Ready to start planning your next trip? As we close out our 2020 chapter, we are now faced with new factors we'd never imagine when traveling. After an overwhelming year of mandatory quarantine and closed borders, it's vital we choose locations in 2021 that are both remarkable and realistic. I plan to outline some trendy new tourist destinations, and also some places that were hit especially hard in 2020. We may not have traveled far and wide in 2020 but our eagerness to get back out hasn't dwindled in the slightest bit.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tourism in this region increased by 48.6 percent in 2019 as the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Visiting this location also means passing through the world's first contactless terminal at Bole International Airport. The Airport was designed to include measures of biosecurity protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Ethiopia is famous for its coffee, intriguing landscape, and rock-hewn churches. Immerse yourself in the culture and visit this up and coming location.
Known for its bright blue waters and pink coral houses, Bermuda offers a wide range of activities and experiences that aim to celebrate culture. Opening in April is the St. Regis Bermuda, a perfect place to stay during your travels. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the St. Regis brings luxury to a previously underdeveloped portion of the Island. If you like to experience luxury and adventure, Bermuda might be on your bucket list for 2021!
Looking for a unique wildlife experience? The Galapagos Islands are rich in wildlife and have been well preserved for visitors who love being outdoors. The pristine white sand beaches are breathtaking and the warm turquoise water makes swimming a must-do. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling but keep your eyes out for see turtles and sea lions! Be sure to indulge in the fresh, locally sourced seafood during your trip and try the staple dishes of the area, Ceviche and Encebollado.
After the devastating wildfires, California's wine country could use support as it rebounds once again. If you're interested in world class food and wine, head to Healdsburg, a small charming town in the heart of Sonoma County. Well-known chef Dustin Valette plans to unveil The Matheson, a new restaurant featuring wine-country cuisine with a spectacular rooftop and patio overlooking the town square. The restaurant itself might be a good enough reason to head to Healdsburg.
Hokianga, New Zealand
New Zealand has a breathtaking array of beaches and wildlife, sure to impress every visitor. And yes, I promise the long flight is worth it! There are ample activities to do in New Zealand including visits to Maori marae, temples, and overnights to the sacred grounds on Rangitoto Island guided by The Maori Tourism Board. This is the perfect place to understand those that came before us and helps us to share the significance of the land. After an overwhelming and threatening year, it feels right to focus on those who experienced hardship long before us.
During 2020, this popular tourist destination expected to lose 100 billion euros from cancelled travel. For 2021, the country is preparing to rebound and gain more tourism. Help the country continue to flourish in it's remarkable beauty by visiting the trendy new hotels, Hoxton in Rome's Salario district and Rocco Forte's Igiea in Palermo. Be sure to hop on a vespa, grab some pizza and pasta and head to a famous art gallery while you're there. One of the most beautiful art galleries in Italy is the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Take in the breathtaking artwork.
The Japanese government expected 40 million travelers flood across its islands for the 2020 Olympics so the tourist destination lost money within housing locations, bars and restaurants. However, the amount of investment made within the islands makes for a clear reason to put Japan on the top of your bucket list. Feel free to explore the intense skiing in Hokkaido and the beautiful beaches of Okinawa, but the historic capital of Kyoto is definitely a must-visit. Explore the modern minimalism within the Ace Hotel Kyoto and head to Mitsui Kyoto to soak in the thermal springs after a long day of adventure. Learn more by reading our blog about what you should know before visiting Kyoto.
New York City
Without the revenue of millions of tourists, the hospitality industry is struggling immensely. A recent study revealed that up to 60 percent of the city's restaurants could close by 2021. In order for this lively city to return to all it's glory, it needs an influx of visitors. Six Senses' first North American hotel is arriving on Manhattan's High Line and aims to focus on medical wellness and immunity boosting luxury treatments. This property will encompass new Covid-19 protocols to help keep customers safe at its spa. This will help to drive in new visitors in a safe and relaxing fashion. Looking for the best places to eat in NYC? Check out our blog featuring all our favorite restaurants in The Big Apple.
Nova Scotia, Canada
There are so many reasons to get lost in Nova Scotia. Visit the capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax to visit breathtaking museums and galleries to help you transport back to moments in maritime history. Halifax is also home to a wide variety of breweries, the most famous being Alexander Keith's which is a popular across Canada. Discover some of the 150 historic lighthouses all across Nova Scotia to see the oldest working lighthouse on Sambro Island. If you're most interested in the cuisine, try the best donairs, a variation of the doner kebab, spotlighted in Halifax starting in the 1970s.
Few places handled the threat of Covid-19 as efficiently and effectively as Vietnam. The early closure of the borders ensured that infection was not spread and death rates remained remarkably low. As Southeast Asia begins to slowly reopen, they are implementing careful strategies to be as safe as possible, making it a great place to visit. Southern Vietnam has something for every type of traveller from island beaches to floating markets and beautiful UNESCO architecture. Be sure to check out the rooftop bars- they are absolutely breathtaking.
After the early border closure during the pandemic, the island of Tasmania will reopen to international travellers in 2021. There are plenty of compelling reasons to visit this area including the Freycinet National Park, beautiful beaches, and culinary experience. If you're a bit outdoorsy try mountain biking on the world class trails in the Blue Derby region then stop by the unique wood-fired floating sauna. Book your trip quickly to beat all the crowds once the world catches on to the charms of Tasmania.
The English Countryside
Since many people will be flooding to the cities for their next vacation, the countryside may be a better choice for your trip. There are many interesting places outside of London to explore. Top on our list? Cambridge. In Cambridge, make sure you check out the spectacular colleges in the area such as St. John's College and Trinity College. If you like exploring museums look into touring the Fitzwilliam Museum to examine world class fine art. The best part? Tickets are free!
In 2021, our new year's resolutions include traveling to all the places we missed in 2020. Due to the pandemic, many countries suffered the consequences of an inevitable lack of tourism. Help those countries rebound by supporting these unique places in 2021. Check off these stunning locations from your bucket list this year.
This blog was written by Featured Wrighter, Isabel Hosley