Top 5 Holiday Destinations to Consider in 2021

Predicting which destinations you can visit in 2021 is almost as tricky as picking the lottery numbers. There are vaccination rates to consider, localised outbreaks, variants, and just whether there are flights to fly to where you want to go. Here, we are going to gaze into our crystal ball and attempt to find some answers. Baldwin Ho speaks directly with Tourism Boards to get the inside track on what to expect…

SEATTLE AND WASHINGTON

With vaccination rates high in the USA and a distinct desire to restore transatlantic travel, Seattle and Washington state must be one of the regions you should consider in 2021, and of course, they are the gateway for cruises to Alaska. We spoke with their UK representatives to get their thoughts.

Alright, when can we visit your beautiful destination?

We hope by July this year!

Londoners are sick of home cooking, what is the ultimate dish you recommend we try when we land?

The seafood is amazing – Dungeness crab and one of the five types of salmon you can get in the region.

Do you recommend hotel-type accommodation or Airbnb-type accommodation in Seattle Washington?

Airbnb has an extensive selection, and we love the city’s fun neighbourhoods. Check out Capitol Hill or Queen Anne for a real Seattle neighbourhood experience. For hotels, the new Lotte Hotel downtown is beautiful. The Inn at the Market is one of the most iconic hotels in the city if you have a bit of a higher budget, otherwise, Kimpton’s Hotel Alexis is a great location.

Tourists coming to London have to visit the Theatreland, what is the one must-do activity when we visit Seattle Washington?

Go to Pike Place Market! It’s the oldest (to have been continually in operation) in the states and it’s a local and a visitor fave. It’s also home to the first-ever Starbucks. If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, Chihuly Garden and Glass is the one that I always recommend to visitors, and without fail, they are skeptical and then cannot believe how incredible the art is.

ATLANTIC CANADA

After a somewhat slow start, there are signs vaccination rates are picking up in Canada, and of course, one thing most definitely in their favour is wide-open spaces. We spoke with Kelley Keefe, Program Manager for Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism.

So, when can we visit your beautiful destination?

As we know international travel is unpredictable right now, but Canadians love to stay positive and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Canada when the time is right.

Londoners are sick of home cooking, what is the ultimate dish you recommend we try when we land?

Seafood! Atlantic Canada is famous for fresh fish, lobster, oysters, mussels, and scallops. There’s nothing quite like a fresh lobster roll or seafood chowder with a crisp glass of white Tidal Bay. The four provinces have a very seasonal approach to dining, and chefs look to nature to see what ingredients they can work with.

Do you recommend hotel-type accommodation or Airbnb-type accommodation in Atlantic Canada?

There are so many amazing places to stay in all four of Atlantic Canada’s provinces: quaint B&Bs, historic inns, luxury lodges, and even lighthouses. Our national and provincial parks are also worth a stay, and you can find yourself in traditional yurts or even sleeping under the stars in glass domes. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fogo Island Inn is one of the world’s most impressive hotels and is located on one of the world’s ‘four corners’.

Tourists coming to London have to visit Theatreland, what is the one must-do activity when we visit Atlantic Canada?

It’s all about the great outdoors! Atlantic Canada has so many beautiful landscapes and wide-open spaces and is perfect for gentle exploring or even some high adrenaline adventures. There are eight national parks in Atlantic Canada, offering hiking, cycling, sea-kayaking, canoeing, and camping.

THAILAND

The Asia-Pacific region has been notoriously tricky to visit since the pandemic started but thankfully, there are signs of some easing of restrictions with Phuket set to take foreign visitors from July. We spoke with Ms. Chiravadee Khunsub, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) London.

When can we visit your beautiful destination?

Phuket is the first destination in Thailand to open this summer, welcoming fully vaccinated UK travellers from July 2021, quarantine-free. We recommend planning for a bit of winter sun though as from October Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai will all be welcoming vaccinated travellers without quarantine.

What is the ultimate dish you recommend we try when we land?

There is so much choice from street food to food halls and rooftop fine dining to Michelin star restaurants. The Dishes and flavours are unique to different regions of the country so it depends where you land. If southern Thailand is your first stop then fresh seafood is a must whether it is grilled, stir-fried, or swimming in a hot and spicy curry sauce.

Do you recommend hotel-type accommodation or Airbnb-type accommodation in Thailand?

There is an incredible choice of accommodation in Thailand. From budget beach bungalows to luxury suites, villas, and penthouses. There are some wonderful quirky boutique hotels too, set in cool locations, from former royal residences to restored colonial, heritage properties and tree houses to community-based homestays with hill tribes for a truly immersive experience.

What is the one must-do activity you recommend we during our visit in Thailand?

A day out to Bangkok’s most iconic attractions the impressive Grand Palace and Wat Pho temple is a must! The Grand Palace’s majestic beauty is awe-inspiring with glittering gold pagodas, ornate mosaics, and exquisite hand-painted murals. Within the grounds, included in the ticket price (500 Thai Baht/£10), visitors can also enjoy the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, and classical masked Thai dance performances.

ISRAEL

They have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. We spoke with Sharon Bershadksy, the Director of the Israel Government Tourist Office. Subsequent to our interview, Israel announced it will be accepting vaccinated groups tours from the 23rd of May.

Alright, when can we visit your beautiful destination?

It’s still too early to predict the exact date tourists will be permitted to visit Israel again. We’re hoping we can welcome tourists back for the summer, but we’ll need to monitor the health and safety measures. Israel is now almost fully reopened to Israelis, with entry allowed to Green Badge holders.

Londoners are sick of home cooking, what is the ultimate dish you recommend we try when we land?

I’m obsessed with Sabich – it’s the best street food in my opinion! A regular on the Tel Aviv street food scene, Sabich combines roasted aubergine, sliced warm eggs, homemade pickles, chopped tomatoes, fresh mint & coriander with creamy amba tahini.

Do you recommend hotel-type accommodation or Airbnb-type accommodation in Israel?

Israel has a huge variety of accommodation options – from Kibbutz hospitality to shared room hostels, boutique hotels, and luxury unique Zimmer’s (self-accommodation). Zimmers is unique to Israel and is self-stay chalet-style accommodation located in beautiful rural areas of the country.

Tourists coming to London have to visit Theatreland, what is the one must-do activity when we visit Israel?

Wow, this is the hardest question. There are so many options but if I have to choose, then I would say the Old City of Jerusalem. The ancient city is overflowing with opportunities including visits to historical sites such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Tower of David.

BALEARIC ISLANDS – MALLORCA

If you are looking for a holiday destination a little closer to home in Europe, the smart money is on an island holiday like the Balearic Islands and visiting the likes of Palma in Mallorca. We spoke with Pedro Homar, manager of the Palma Tourist Board (Mallorca).

Alright, when can we visit your beautiful destination?

It’s a little out of our hands at present but Palma and the island of Mallorca as a whole are ready and waiting. Generally, our COVID numbers are low. We are hopeful that by June, visitors from the UK will be able to travel to Palma and the Balearic Islands.

What is the ultimate dish you recommend we try when we land?

Seafood is of course a key part of our cuisine. Having said that, we are also well known for our rice dishes, cured meats, and pastries, including the delicious ensaimaïda; a sweet snail-shaped pastry, which comes filled with cream, chocolate, or sweet pumpkin.

Do you recommend hotel-type accommodation or Airbnb-type accommodation in Mallorca?

There are so many options for different kinds of travellers and budgets. Some of the hotels in Palma have wonderful rooftops to enjoy an early afternoon drink and panoramic views of the city, the coast, and La Seu; our stunning gothic cathedral.

Tourists coming to London have to visit Theatreland, what is the one must-do activity when we visit Mallorca?

I would say simply strolling along our Paseo Maritimo (coastal boulevard) and enjoying the sea breeze and the views. This is popular with locals and visitors and gives a real flavour of the island, passing the yacht-filled harbour, as well as many more historical emblematic buildings like the city’s cathedral.

Written by Baldwin Ho

Baldwin Ho is a freelance writer and intrepid traveller with an insatiable desire for all things food and culture. Find Baldwin feasting, photographing and frolicking on his Instagram @foodtravelinspired.

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