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Hot travel picks for 2014

Each year, Travelzoo's Publishers, Editors and Deal Experts come together to thrash out our list of hot destinations for the following year. But there's obviously a deal-shaped twist -- these destinations have to be hot in terms of great value for money, too. And no destination makes it on to the list without a very solid argument, from media buzz and recent trends to industry projections and tourist board initiatives.

Here's why we chose this year's hot travel picks:

Destination: Caribbean cruises

  • Over the last few years, more cruise ships than ever before have been positioned in Europe. However, higher airfares mean that fewer Americans have been tempted to cruise in European waters -- so a lot of cabins were left empty this year
  • For 2014, cruise lines have decided to address the issue and have pulled ships out of Europe. And many of these vessels will end up in the Caribbean. This, combined with a series of new ship launches -- many of which will cover the Caribbean -- will lead to a lot of cabins to fill in 2014. And a lot of deals to be had
  • New ships will equal a minimum of 8500 extra cabins, floating around the Caribbean year round
  • The Caribbean remains one of the most popular cruise destinations. In our own recent cruise survey, the Caribbean was second only to the Med for popular destinations

Destination: Greece

  • Because of the economic crisis in Greece, we have seen an increase in cheap deals this year, to try to boost the number of tourists visiting the Greek Islands and in turn improve the economy
  • The government is investing more money in airports, ports and roads in an attempt to grow the tourism market. In the first half of 2013 there was an increase of 12.3% in tourist numbers, and officials hope to increase this further in 2014
  • TUI travel boss Peter Long has been in talks over growth plans for the Greek-Islands market in 2014, which will see a 10% rise in holiday packages 

Destination: Miami

  • There is a slew of new hotel openings planned for 2014, including a boutique budget hotel
  • A key focus for Miami in 2014 will be to position it as a stopover for Brazil and the World Cup
  • Visitors often use Miami as a launch pad for travel to South America (there are few direct flights from the UK), but the tourist board envisages that these numbers will decrease significantly during the World Cup. Cue a barrage of great, limited-time offers
  • This is exciting news, as Miami is generally billed as a luxurious destination

Destination: Riga

  • Over the last few years there has been an increase in air routes to Riga (Ryanair, easyJet, Wizzair), making fares more competitive
  • The low air fares and relatively short flight times make it a very attractive weekend getaway
  • The Post Office highlighted Riga as number three on its list of best-value city-break destinations in 2013
  • Lonely Planet just named Riga number four in its Top 10 Cities list for 2014
  • Riga will be the European Capital of Culture in 2014 

Destination: Sri Lanka

  • Since the civil war ended in 2009, interest in this country has been growing
  • The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority recently released figures showing that 97,411 international visitors arrived in the country in January 2013 alone, a rise of 13% on last January's total of 85,874 people
  • British Airways now flies from London to Colombo three times a week, which has increased the number of operators that feature Sri Lanka, and thus the number of deals
  • It's still off the beaten track, so there are deals to be had as the tourist board seeks to increase visitors

You'll find the full list here, with a whole selection of deals to get you to those destinations.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Thursday, 5 December 2013
See more Tips from
Victoria Murden