Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Off to the Ends of the Earth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Off to the Ends of the Earth

Article excerpt

Byline: JANE KNIGHT

IT'S official - China is the new Caribbean. At least it is at dinner parties where fellow guests stifle a yawn at the mention of your fortnight on Antigua but listen up when you drop into the conversation that you saw the Yangtze River gorge before it was flooded, darling.

With the Costas and the Caribbean passe in terms of tourism one-upmanship, more and more of us are ferreting out the farflung corners of the world for our next trip. It's a trend that hasn't even begun to run its course; China received 284,000 visitors from the UK in 2000, but expects 1.5 million by 2020, according to World Tourism Organisation (WTO) projections.

There has been such a rush to see the Yangtze River gorge before a dam floods it next year that long-haul specialist Bales which last year saw a 30 per cent increase in bookings for its China trips - sold out of many of this year's itineraries before the brochure was even printed.

It's something managing direcby

Market forces: destinations previously regarded as inaccessible are opening up. Places which were once the preserve of backpackers are set to become mainstream tor Mandy Nickerson also attributes to improved tourism infrastructure, with restaurants no longer closing at 6pm and international-standard hotels, allowing people to be "travellers by day, tourists by night".

Other destinations previously regarded as inaccessible are opening up.

"The concrete carpet of tourism is unfolding across the world," says Keith Betton of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

In the past decade destinations such as Mexico and Thailand - previously the preserve of backpackers - have gone so mainstream that travellers looking for adventure have found the new Thailand in, first, Vietnam, and now Laos and Cambodia. …

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