Can Port Douglas claim Chadventures, volunturism and the X Factor ?

Monday 04 January


Can Port claim Chadventures, volunturism and the X Factor ?


The annual ABTA Travel Trends Report cites ‘x-factor destinations’ - those with something new and unique to offer - and a desire for travellers to give something back to the destinations they visit, as key trends in British traveller behaviour for 2010.


The ABTA Travel Trends Report suggests that ‘x-factor’ holidays for 2010 might include a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa’s World Cup or be influenced by this year’s hot films and books. The setting of the Twilight teen vampire saga, Forks, Washington State, is expected to build on its massive rise in visitor numbers in 2009. Jamie Oliver’s American Road Trip should also continue to increase bookings for ranch based holidays and trips to less-visited US states. Culture vultures will spread their wings to Istanbul, next year’s European City of Culture.


The report also highlights a greater demand for holidays that allow travellers to give something back to destinations, with ‘chadventures’ - a combination of adventure and raising money for charity, or ‘volunturism’ based breaks, gaining currency with some tour operators even partnering with NGOs.


A further trend shows a pent up wanderlust for areas emerging from troubled times, such as Sri Lanka, which looks set to increase in popularity next year. Sri Lanka may be among those countries that will jump from 2009’s news pages and back into the travel supplements as a firm fixture on the tourist trail. Even Iraq is promoting itself as a future holiday destination for 2010. Other long haul destinations that look set to return to popularity, and recover from the issues they have faced recently, include Mexico and Thailand.


The long haul trend may also be boosted by holidaymakers booking flights before the next round of Air Passenger Duty increases - by the end of next year it will mean a family of four flying to America having to pay £240 in tax. The Caribbean and Australia will also be hit hard by the rises in Air Passenger Duty.


Editors Comments: If this report is correct then why are we not promoting Port Douglas as the movie location for 'The Pacific'. This blockbuster television series is just about to hit Australia so it is most probably going to hit Europe and US even earlier.  Also if people want to give something back to their chosen holiday destination, why can't we get them working within the organisations that look after the Daintree Rainforest and/or The Great Barrier Reef.   There must be loads of important jobs for visitors to assist with.   Come on you tourism bodies, just because it's always quiet from the second part of January through to March, doesn't mean it has to be !.  Where's our rapid response Unit, let's get selling our own 'x-factor'.