As we wave a fond farewell to the year that travel came roaring back (and then some!), it’s time to look forward to all the wonderful places we’re headed in 2024. As pioneers of community tourism, we’re thrilled to see traditional destinations trending for longer trips that give travellers more time to make meaningful connections. We love that you want your trip to give back to the local people and to feel closer to the culture and tradition of a place. And so, we’ve packed our annual list with trending destinations that are chock full of mutually beneficial experiences and noteworthy reasons to visit.
Travellers can’t get enough of Japan since it reopened, with the land of the rising sun also seeing rising bookings. With a whopping 134% bump for 2024, this trend is set to continue with the launch of our Geluxe Collection, a new line of premium active trips. Our elevated Japan itinerary includes hiking the remote Michinoku Coastal Trail built after the tsunami to bring community tourism back to Iwate. Plus, we’re one of the first major operators to include this hike!
Top suggestion: Japan: Kyoto, Tokyo & the Michinoku Coastal Trail
On our 11-day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto, you’ll discover villages outside Kyoto by foot and hike up to the Unotori Shrine in Fudai, Iwate. There, you’ll witness a unique cultural performance that has all but died out in other parts of Japan.
The numbers don’t lie. Portugal has seen stand-out growth with traveller numbers tripling since 2019 and up 33% compared to 2022. Affordable and accessible, with fantastic food, culture and history, there are plenty of reasons you need to experience this European gem. For North Americans, new direct flights to Porto start this coming summer from New York, Boston and Toronto with Azores Airlines. We say go before it gets even more popular, as its star continues to rise.
Top suggestion: Highlights of Portugal
On our 7-day trip from Lisbon to Porto, you’ll sit down for a traditional meal to the sound of Fado by Portuguese folk music artists in one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods, and immerse yourself in UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Monastery of Batalha, Coimbra University, and the picturesque town of Sintra.
The ‘Stans in general have become quite the hotspot as people look to check off big ‘bucket list’ destinations and trek to lesser-known countries. Uzbekistan has seen a 53% increase year over year, also usurping 2019 by 16%. The stunning Center for Islamic Civilization in Tashkent is set to open its doors in April 2024, and joins the Center for Contemporary Arts, which was opened in 2019, as two new cultural hubs to explore.
Top suggestion: Highlights of Uzbekistan
On our 10-day trip from Tashkent, you’ll head out into the desert to visit Chashma Complex, a pilgrimage site in the territory of Nurata, dominated by ruins of Alexander the Great’s fortress. Visit the remote Aydarkul Lake for a swim before an overnight stay in a local yurt camp to enjoy an authentic Uzbekistan dinner and an evening Kazakh singing show.
The pace quickened in the past year with India’s bookings doubling between 2022 and 2023. And good news for you, our partnership with National Geographic means exclusive experiences are built into every itinerary. Canadians have had their visas restored, so we expect a big bump to follow. For Aussies and Kiwis, Air India added a new direct flight route from Melbourne to Mumbai starting in mid-December 2023. And for the UK, Virgin Atlantic announced a new direct flight from London Heathrow to Bengaluru, opening up the country for exploration beyond your G Adventures experience.
Top suggestion: National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures North India Highlights
On our 8-day adventure from Delhi, you’ll make your way to Jaipur, known as the Pink City. There, you’ll meet with a local historian and sociology scholar to learn about India’s complex social fabric and traditions, and discuss a range of topics from the country’s belief systems to its architecture.
Vibrant and colourful, Mexico has proven more popular than pre-pandemic, helped by the introduction of some new trips. These include two Geluxe Collection premium active itineraries that put an invigorating spin on a traditional beach destination. Up 24% from 2019 and 28% from last year, Mexico continues to keep things spicy.
Top suggestion: Mexico: Central Mexico & the Yucatan Peninsula
On our 14-day trip from Oaxaca to Tulum, you’ll wander the cobblestone streets and markets of Oaxaca and devour mole in Puebla, before biking through agave fields and taking a break from the heat with a swim in a jungle sinkhole near Merida.
Another country that was late to reopen but doubled its traveller numbers since 2022, Vietnam offers great value to adventurous families. With tasty food, beautiful sights, and friendly people, it lets children learn about a different culture in a fun and engaging way. With lots more airlift from Australia’s biggest cities with both Vietjet and Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam is poised to continue its significant growth. Vietnam Airlines also confirmed its return to daily flight frequencies from London Heathrow to Vietnam this winter, with daily nonstops resuming in October 2023.
Top suggestion: Vietnam Family Adventure
On our 12-day trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll visit Oodles of Noodles, a G for Good project supporting former street youth where you help prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles.
As travellers have started flocking back to Europe, Greece has seen huge growth up 90% from 2019 and 24% year on year. One of the best ways to avoid the crowds and mingle with local people is by boat. Taking you to remote islands to enjoy local cuisine and culture, our Sailing trips epitomise community tourism. You’ll ensure wealth is distributed to lesser-known locales while still taking in the unique highlights of each Greek Island.
Top suggestion: Sailing Greece – Santorini to Santorini
On our 10-day trip from Santorini, your on-shore experiences include strolling through the markets of Syros, uncovering the beauty of the Venetian ruins in Paros, and hiking through the trails and paths of Sifnos.
Continuing its epic comeback, Thailand is expected to boom even more as travellers head there before the ‘White Lotus Effect’ takes hold, with filming for the third season set to begin in 2024. Up 76% in traveller numbers year on year, it remains a solid choice for young travellers and backpackers looking for an affordable escape.
Top suggestion: Bangkok to Hanoi: Chiang Mai, Night Markets & Streetside Bars
On our 9-day Roamies trip in partnership with Hostelworld, your Bangkok to Hanoi adventure includes a visit to Yimsoo Cafe in Bangkok that offers training and economic opportunities for people living with disabilities.
9: South Korea
With Asia trending since its reopening, South Korea’s popularity has proven a welcome surprise with numbers doubling in 2023 compared to 2019. Helped by K-Pop and K-Dramas, the country also offers a wealth of traditional culture, incredible food, and memorable experiences.
Top suggestion: Best of South Korea
On our 8-day trip from Seoul, you’ll hit the city’s highlights plus visit folk villages, unique Korean temples, and the bustling markets of Busan. You’ll also learn about the sombre history of North and South Korea and visit the Demilitarized Zone separating the two.
Another popular post-Covid destination, Italy is up 30% from 2019 and 24% year on year. With dream destinations top of mind, it makes sense that this perennial favourite remains high on everyone’s lists. We give it our all with Local Living experiences, as you’re taken off the road most travelled to really immerse yourself in beautiful daily Italian life.
Top suggestion: Local Living Italy—Amalfi Coast
On our 8-day trip from Naples, you’ll live like one of the region’s local people, discovering the small towns, mountain trails, and local customs of this uniquely charming place. Plus, you’ll tuck into bed at a converted 17th-century monastery as your home base.