2017 is going to be the year of the experience. Now that travel to places that were once considered exotic has become somewhat pedestrian (oh yeah, I’m heading to Easter Island tomorrow--you?), it’s the search for the ultimate experience that may reign supreme...no matter where it takes place. That said, experiences need to be one-of-a-kind and indigenous to the place visited.
For example, during a recent trip to Italy, I bypassed Rome and Venice and focused on making gelato in Bologna and truffle hunting near Alba.
|Tasting the fruits of my gelato-making efforts|
at Gelato University in Bologna
|Searching for truffles with|
Igor and Rocky
|A fjord in|
2017 will also be the year when people are looking chill out and escape from reality. This means that instead of heading to the world’s great cities, they may be prone to head to the outer reaches of familiar countries. Iceland has been a very popular place for the past several years. This year, there may be a fjord in your future, as seekers of calm and isolation may head above the Arctic Circle, exploring Nunavut in Canada, Lapland in Finland and Northern Norway. In all of these places, visitors can experience the Midnight Sun, giving them more daylight to lap up adventures. In Northern Norway, those adventures include riding horses, hanging ten at the world's northernmost surfing school, or French kissing with wolves.
|Getting Intimate with Wolves|
at Norway's Polar Park
In the United States, the desire to get away from crowded spaces will also predominate. National parks will continue to be popular escape routes. Rural states like Nebraska and the Dakotas may also see an upswing in tourism.
Also, so-called secondary cities will experience a renaissance. During the past few years, places like Richmond, VA; Cincinnati, OH; and Boise, ID have become beacons of urban cool. Young chefs, priced out of major markets, are opening restaurants in these smaller burgs, while uber-cook, cutting-edge lodging brands, like 21c Museum Hotels and Aparium, are focusing their efforts in these under-a-million cities.
|Art at a 21c Museum Hotel|
|A room at The Modern in Boise, Idaho|