Visiting tried and tested holiday destinations is great, as you’ll know what to expect, but it’s the places that have made an extra-special effort to attract new levels of tourism that are really worth a look.
Of course, there are few places left undiscovered in the world, which is why destinations that have previously fallen in popularity and those considered to be unlikely holiday hotspots have stepped up their game to change the face of summer breaks in 2020. Below, you’ll find my pick of five must-consider locations that are showing signs of increased tourism and have a lot to offer even to the most discerning traveller.
Once a top holiday bucket list entry, Egypt has seen a decrease in visitors over the past four years, but all the signs point to a huge surge in popularity for summer 2020, particularly in the Hurghada region. Filled with incredible beaches, family-friendly waterparks and within easy reach of ancient cultural sites, this striking corner of Egypt is enticing large numbers of travellers to return to the country.
In 2018, the World Tourism Organization named Egypt as the fastest-growing tourist destination with a 77% increase in overseas visitor revenue.
If Croatia isn’t already on your radar for a summer holiday in 2020, it should be. Not only does it offer a host of UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore, it’s also a country of many facets, making it perfect for an unstructured and unique trip.
On the face of it, Croatia looks as though it might be stuck in the Middle Ages, which is why it was used for filming the hit series Game of Thrones, but it’s an amazing destination filled with contrasting experiences – from ancient architecture and culture through to some of the best clubbing in the world. The beaches are incredible, too, making it perfect for sun worshippers. But get in quickly, as Game of Thrones fans are starting to flock here.
Don’t think of Portugal as Spain’s less popular sister. It’s fast coming into its own in terms of tourism, and summer 2020 looks set to be a record-breaking year. Experts are predicting that UK holidaymakers will start heading to Portugal in search of an affordable European break, post-Brexit, since the Post Office Holiday Costs Report revealed what great value it is.
For a destination that’s up and coming rather than already established, consider Porto Santo. A tiny island in the Madeira archipelago, Porto Santo is a dreamy holiday spot that combines gorgeous weather with friendly locals, untamed landscapes and some of the finest food that you’ll ever sample, and all for a good price too.
Greece has been popular for a while, but numbers are starting to seriously peak thanks to stylised social media posts making travellers want to see the whitewashed and blue-domed buildings of Santorini, and the wider Greek islands for themselves. Numbers are expected to hit such high figures next year that a cap has been placed on the number of cruise ship passengers that are allowed to disembark in Santorini – but there are other spots to consider.
Lesvos is a Greek island that time and until now, tourism, forgot, with traditional values and culture permeating every winding street and gorgeous beach. The hot climate, beautiful scenery and abundance of history to soak up make this a real contender for an unforgettable 2020 summer holiday.
Don’t let the name fool you, as Iceland is pleasantly warm in summer, with an average temperature of around 15°C and so much to see and do that you won’t begrudge swapping soft beaches for glaciers, thermal pools and Northern Light displays.
With unusual cuisine to sample, the cosmopolitan city of Reykjavik to enjoy, and wide rural areas to explore, Iceland is a country that appeals to a variety of holidaymakers, but particularly those who want to do more than sunbathe. Traditionally, travellers make the trip to Iceland in the winter months to see the landscape in its most natural state, but there is an growing trend for summer pilgrimages and with visitor numbers topping two million for the first time last year, now is the time to book!
Summer 2020 is the perfect time to explore the world a little more and to travel further afield than you have before. Forget what you think you know about family-friendly destinations and beautiful beaches – the locations listed above hold untold potential for unforgettable holidays, and you should consider visiting them before they get too overcrowded. For more information on these destinations check out Holiday Hypermarket, which has in-depth travel guides on each destination.