If you’re itching to pack your bags for travel in the new year, here are the top Caribbean destinations, rising neighborhoods and trends to know.
Thanks to plenty of direct flight options in four hours or less, New York City is one of the biggest markets for the travel website CheapCaribbean.com, which specializes in beach vacations. Some of the major areas right now for the site are Panama, including resorts on Playa Bonita and Playa Blanca; Haiti; Rivieria Maya, Mexico; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
“It has the reputation for the best beaches in the Dominican Republic,” said Steve Dumaine, president and CEO of CheapCaribbean.com, of Puerto Plata. “It was the first resort destination in the Dominican Republic, but then Punta Cana came up and grew like a weed. But people are going back to Puerto Plata, there are good deals you can get there.”
Another spot on the rise is Cabo, Mexico, which “is very much back online” from Hurricane Matthew in fall 2016, said Dumaine.
Forget cities on the rise — try neighborhoods. According to Airbnb, the top trending neighborhoods for travelers in 2017 include Milneburg in New Orleans; Kampung Baru in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia; Konohana-ku in Osaka, Japan; and Chutes-Lavie in Marseille, France. Among the common threads in rising destinations are that they’re urban but not dense, have plenty of green space, and are foodie hubs.
Look out for efforts to push sustainable tourism across the globe in the new year. The United Nations has declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to “advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability — economic, social and environmental,” United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said in a statement announcing the adoption.