News.com.au: Escape asked several travel experts what they thought would be tops in destinations and trends for 2012.
FEDERICO Folcia and Jia En Teo are the founders and chief executives of Roomorama (www.roomorama.com), the website that offers comfortable yet affordable short-term accommodation in urban areas across the globe, with more than 250,000 properties in 450 destinations.
What destinations will be popular in 2012?
Europe will be hugely popular because of the London Olympics. There will be an estimated 500,000 new visitors each day to London for the Games and many will take the opportunity to travel to close destinations like Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Berlin. South-East Asia will continue to be popular because of the strong Aussie dollar and the affordability of travelling in the region.
What experiences will define travel in 2012?
Travellers want to live like locals. They're not just looking to check off the typical tourist spots but to experience a place and leave with stories to tell. Short-term or vacation rentals will prove to be popular, especially since the peer-to-peer accommodation concept is catching on with many travellers as an alternative to hotel rooms.
What will be the best destinations to get off the beaten track in 2012?
Manila is a fast-growing metropolis and while people usually head straight to the beaches when they go to the Philippines, and skip the capital, it's a city with many hidden gems and even the malls have plenty of local boutiques and businesses rather than large chains. Sri Lanka is another great destination because it's still untouched by tourism and quite underrated with balmy weather, great local food, art and history, and it's still very affordable.
What will be the unusual destinations everyone is talking about in 2012?
Ukraine and the cities of Kiev, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv, because of the UEFA Euro 2012 football finals, and Odessa, which is a beautiful city on the Black Sea.
If you could rent an apartment anywhere in the world, and stay there for a month, where would it be?
It would be Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam because it's historic, the cost of living is very affordable and it's possible to rent a fairly decent room for $10 a night, or a completely private apartment for $25 a night.
If time and money were no object, where would you like to spend your next holiday?
We would love to travel to Brazil and take a boat down the Amazon there's so much to see there that you would need a lot of time.