Agents' Choice 2020
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Dec 09, 2019
View the full digital edition

Unique vacation experiences top the list

Forecast 2020

ANDREW DAWSON
President, Tour Operators
Sunwing

I believe that 2020 will be about making the most of your getaway by indulging in unique experiences while travelling; whether that’s taking advantage of star-worthy amenities at your resort or venturing off the beaten path to get under the skin of the destination you are visiting. Here are my picks of what are likely to be among the top travel trends next year.

VACATION LIKE AN A-LISTER

The rise of social media and influencer culture means the glitz and glam of travelling in style is more visible – and accessible – than ever. An increasing number of resorts are recognizing this trend and customizing their properties accordingly with extravagant accommodations, butler service, gourmet dining experiences, and more.

One great example of this is Planet Hollywood Hotels, which opened their first all-inclusive property in the tropics last year. At Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, travellers can Vacation Like A Star with A-lister features and amenities including sprawling suites, Hollywood memorabilia around the resort, a wide choice of specialty restaurants (including celebrity Chef Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint) and PH Experiences (specially curated excursions that guests can embark on to explore their destination).

At Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, slated to open on the shores of Costa Mujeres in Mexico in spring 2020, travellers will have even more choices for their celebrity-style vacation experience. This latest property will also feature the first-ever Adult Scene – an adults-only “resort-within-a-resort” concept where guests enjoy exclusive amenities, while still benefiting from all the features of the wider resort.

Travellers looking for premium features can also head to Barcelo Maya Riviera and look forward to extravagant evening entertainment, stylish gastronomy options and lavish suites with Jacuzzis.

TRAVEL OFF THE BEATEN PATH

More and more customers are looking to get under the skin of the destination they’re visiting; opting to leave the lounge chair on the beach for a day, in order to get out and explore. It’s easy to customize your vacation by adding Sunwing Experiences to your package.

In Panama, vacationers can experience a blend of city culture and beach escapes – from the skyscrapers of Panama City and the iconic canal to the sparkling shores of Playa Blanca. The beachfront Playa Blanca Resort provides the perfect home base from which to explore Panama – guests can even encounter some of the local wildlife at the resort’s on-site mini zoo.

The historic destination of Mazatlán in Pacific Mexico is another vacation hotspot growing in popularity, perfect for travellers who want to experience the local culture and excellent cuisine.

Vacationers may choose to stay at Riu Emerald Bay on the golden-sand shores of Brujas Beach, where they can sample the local cuisine with unlimited reservation-free dining at specialty restaurants. Known for its diverse landscapes, exotic species and incredible marine conditions, Roatan is an ideal destination for those looking for off-the-beaten-path adventures that will bring them close to nature at its most pristine. Divers can spot angelfish and parrotfish at the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, while hikers may see monkeys, tree frogs and sloths on the plentiful rainforest trails. When eco explorers stay at Fantasy Island Beach Resort, Dive & Marina, they can explore the resort’s
private 21-acre island which is home to its own five-star PADI dive centre, a range of dive packages and amazing local wildlife like Capuchin monkeys.

ALL INCLUSIVE REDEFINED

Over the years, resorts have made a major shift, adding more and more enhanced amenities and inclusions to delight their guests – from collaborating with award-winning chefs to providing an ever-growing list of varied activity options from cooking lessons and tequila tastings to ziplines and catamaran rides. In 2020, vacationers are going to be heading to properties that offer more.

For example, guests at Royalton Luxury Resorts enjoy unlimited reservation-free dining at all specialty restaurants, hundreds of fitness classes with the chain’s RoyaltonFit program, an action-packed kids and teen clubs, and more.

At CHIC Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, vacationers can enjoy regular day to night entertainment poolside with a roster of award-winning DJs, take a dip in the Mermaid Pool or recharge in Oxygen Bar. RIU Hotels & Resorts are also a top choice for getting the most out of a resort.

Vacationers that book with Sunwing can take advantage of RIUFit program and exclusive RIU-topia perks such as welcome cocktails, unlimited reservation-free dining, in-room liquor dispensers, and more. Plus, select RIU resorts offer the legendary RIU Pool Parties concept with various themes including a White Party, Jungle Party and Neon Party at no additional cost.

 

 

 

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