AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

What's Hot for 2018

8 Nov 2017 - Looking at political changes in the world and major events and anniversaries, Cox & Kings picks where and what will be on trend for 2018.


Celebrating its 260th anniversary in 2018, Cox & Kings has been making predictions about travel longer than most. With the end of the year in sight, now is the time for planning travels for the coming year. Looking at political changes in the world and major events and anniversaries, Cox & Kings picks where and what will be on trend for 2018.

Until now, visitors to Cambodia have had limited options for including a beach stay as part of their holiday. The opening of Song Saa in 2012 brought a new level of luxury to the country but it has taken time for other hotels to open and follow suit. This is all set to change with the opening of Six Senses Krabey Island earlier this year and Alila Villas Koh Russey in 2018 in the Koh Rong archipelago, 25km off the coast from Sihanoukville. A stay at any of these beach hotels can be included as part of a tailor-made holiday or added on to one of Cox & Kings’ escorted tours in the region.

Kep, on the mainland, is also re-emerging with quaint, boutique hotels opening up to cater for discerning travellers. The waterfront is lined with wide promenades and large statues, and several islands lie off the coast. The nearby Kep National Park is home to a number of hiking trails. Knai Bang Chatt Hotel in Kep has opened Cambodia’s first official sailing club this year. A three-night stay is included in Kep on Cox & Kings’ 12-day Cambodia in Style private tour, which is priced from £3,525 per person.

Following the television coverage of Kerala this year – the second series of the BBC’s Real Exotic Marigold Hotel and Joanna Lumley’s India on ITV – Cox & Kings has seen increased demand for travelling to the region. Clients want to explore lesser known parts of India but want the reassurance they are being looked after.

Cox & Kings’ new tour Passage through Kerala – 13 days from £2,425 per person – focusses on the tranquil landscapes and beautiful sights of Karnataka and Kerala, visiting Mysore, Nagarhole national park and the backwaters of Kochi. Highlights include a train ride through the Nilgiri mountains on the scenic Blue Mountains Railway and seeing Mysore’s Maharajah’s Palace – the largest in India –illuminated at night by over 1,000 lightbulbs.

Launching in January, the brand new Ventus Australis expedition ship will sail four-night itineraries between Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina. Sailing through the Strait of Magellan around Tierra del Fuego and the notorious Cape Horn, the ship will navigate some of the world’s narrowest fjords and glacial channels. The cabins, which can accommodate 210 passengers, have floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for watching the stunning scenery. Highlights include Wulaia Bay, where Darwin landed in 1833, the wildlife-rich Ainsworth Bay and Pia glacier. The four-night cruise, when added onto Cox & Kings’ Splendours of Chile escorted tour is from £1,795 per person. The price also includes two nights in Buenos Aires at the end.

Malta’s capital has been declared European Capital of Culture for 2018 and with over 400 cultural events and celebrations planned for the year, the city is set to be firmly on the map for city breaks or as part of a longer holiday to the island. With a history stretching back to the Knights of St John in 1530, there is plenty to interest culture seekers. Over the past few years, the city has moved away from large hotels and instead favours smaller boutique hotels: choose from converted palaces, historical buildings and restored townhouses. A 4-night stay at the Palazzo Capua hotel is from £575 per person.

Other places to watch out for

• China – at the end of 2017, the 144-hour visa free stay extends to Beijing. Was introduced in Shanghai this year and allows stays of up to six days without a visa. It can combine with other cities offering the exemption (Hangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin & Hebei)
• Udaipur, India – new BBC series of Real Exotic Marigold Hotel set to be filmed there. Previous series have generated increase in bookings to Jaipur and Kerala so a similar impact can be anticipated for Udaipur
• Yala national park, Sri Lanka – the family behind Dilmah Tea and the Tea Trails and Cape Weligama hotels open their third property in November 2017. Wild Coast Tented Camp, on a pristine beach just outside the national park, features 28 tented ‘cocoon suites’ each with high vaulted ceilings and panoramic windows, offering true luxury in the heart of nature.

All quoted prices include international flights from London, transfers, excursions and accommodation with breakfast daily unless otherwise specified.

For press information or images, please contact Katie Cosstick on 020 7808 5694 or email

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