Brett Tollman, chief executive of The Travel Corporation (TTC), shares his #TTCTop10 bucket list of destinations for 2020 as a way to celebrate the company’s 100th Anniversary.
“Our roots can be traced back over a hundred years to a small fishing village called Paternoster, located in the Western Cape of my homeland, South Africa,” Tollman wrote. “My beloved grandfather Solomon owned a small hotel beginning in 1920 in this village which still exists today, and this is where our fourth generation, family owned and family run business was born.”
“Besides being the start of an exciting new decade ahead, 2020 also marks an incredible milestone year for my family, our team and our Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 42 award-winning brands as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary.” Tollman added.
Tollman emphasized how important it is to travel responsibly and help #MakeTravelMatter. TTC continues to support our 55+ TreadRight Foundation projects in 26 countries, spanning across 280 communities worldwide.
“If concerned about over-tourism, then choose a destination that is in need of more tourists (i.e., much of Africa and the Middle East, Colombia, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam & Cambodia, China and even the USA and Australia),” Tollman wrote.
- Colombia – This stunning country was recently chosen as the number one destination for tourism in 2020 in a ranking by the USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association). I hope to visit Colombia for the first time this September with Tourism Cares. We are supporting this emerging destination with two of our TreadRight projects including the Cotton-Top Protection project in partnership with Proyecto Tití, a conservation program dedicated to conserving the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin. Our second project is an important archaeological site project at the El Congo-Ciudad Antigua research station with our partner, the Pro-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Foundation. I would like to explore this country more in-depth onTrafalgar’s Colombia Rediscoveredguided vacation. A highlight will be a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch with the Davila family where we will learn about their work as the leaders in sustainable farming and the largest producers of organic food in Santa Marta.
- Israel – This incredible destination is immensely meaningful for me and my family which compels us to keep returning to its ancient and spiritual sites. BBC’s Good Food magazine ranked Tel Aviv as a top 2020 foodie destination with plant-based dishes at the heart of the city’s culinary tradition, which is what much of my diet is focused around today. I look forward to experiencing Insight Vacations’ Israel & Jordan premium escorted journey and enjoying our authentic ‘Insight Experiences’ with Local Experts including visits to the Garden of Gethsemene and seeing the Room of the Last Supper, the Temple Mount, the Pool of Bethesda and Ecce Homo Arch.
- Botswana – Africa is my ancestral homeland and Botswana is a very special destination and one of my favorites, with its diverse ecosystems and exceptional wildlife. We are very excited for the June 2020 opening of our extraordinary 18th Red Carnation jewel, the Xigera Safari Lodgeset in this country’s unspoiled wilderness spanning 15,000 square kilometres in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Our luxury lodge is dedicated to sustainability, including our TreadRight commitment to removing all single-use plastics from all Red Carnation properties and will be 100% solar powered with 12 phenomenal suites, designed by my incredibly talented, award-winning mother and sister Toni. I also highly recommend experiencing one of our outstanding Botswana safaris with our two sister brands, African Travel Inc.’s Best of Botswana and Lion World Travel’s Botswana in Style.
- Vienna – I am always fascinated by this Austrian capital’s cultural delights from its world class museums, historic multi-centuries architecture, classical music offerings and Viennese café culture. I would like to experience our U River Cruises’ new 2020 Vienna Vibe itinerary on ‘The A’ ship which was named recently by Time magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places.” Our U itineraries are created for active and culturally curious travelers. For example, U offers an exclusive after-hours excursion to the Schönbrunn Palace to see its magnificent state rooms without the crowds.
- Norway – This destination has been on my bucket list for its spectacular landscapes, charming villages and majestic mountains for over a decade. I would like to explore Scandinavia for the first time on Adventure World’s Unique Fjords & Glaciers itinerary. A trip highlight will be boarding one of the most incredible rail journeys in the world, the Flåm Railway, which offers a panoramic view of some of the most stunning nature amongst the Norwegian fjords.
- Portugal – My three children, Gen-Z and Millennial travelers, are seeking new and unforgettable experiences. Portugal is becoming an increasingly popular wellness destination to unplug and unwind with some of the world’s best surfing. Contiki is offering new self-care experiences such as its Portugal City and Surf adventure. A 2-night ‘Special Stays’ at Noah’s Surf House in Santa Cruise offers our guests experiences including paddleboarding, skateboarding and morning sunrise yoga overlooking the country’s scenic coastline. They can also experience another ‘Special Stays’ at our Château de Cruix in France’s Beaujolais wine region which has been completely renovated over the past few months, and will now provide an even more fun, enjoyable stay.
- West Coast USA – Being a California resident, I am continuously inspired to visit the hidden gems and diverse landscapes of ‘my own backyard.’ Busabout offers an all ages and freedom of choice adventure on its Wild West & City Lights trip. Some of the trip highlights are exploring the US’s national treasures, their majestic national parks including enjoying the sunset at the Grand Canyon and the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley. This brand was started by my father almost 20 years ago, and its destinations, experiences, technology platform and quality of delivery for our travelers is superb, and something we are also very proud of.
- Peru – Peru has always been on my bucket list, with Machu Picchu being recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and Lima as a global gastronomy destination. We are thrilled that Uniworld is offering its first-ever South American cruises in 2020. I would like to embark on the Peruvian Amazon & Machu Picchu Explorer on our Aria Amazon all-suite luxury ship with all-inclusive amenities and five-star cuisine. One of the featured excursions includes a state-of-the-art skiff ride on the Yanayacu-Pucate River where guests have the opportunity to kayak, canoe and swim in these famous waters with a possible sighting of a pink dolphin.
- ME to WE Ecuador – My family and I are highly anticipating our third ME to WE culturally immersive trip. This will be our first visit to Ecuador, which is said to be the most biodiverse country on earth. We will stay in Minga Lodge in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon and spend time with the local Kichwa people. We will work on a WE Charity development project alongside community members and learn to make chocolate at their cacao farm. (We are offering WE fair trade chocolates on our Uniworld ships and in our Red Carnation hotels, and some of our TTC offices serve WE coffee as well). Both Trafalgar’s Highlights of Peru with ME to WE on Contiki’s The Lava Line with ME to WE offer this life-changing experience.
- Florida – I will be making a return visit with my family to Old Town in Kissimmee later this year. Our team has further enhanced and restored this recreation of a classic 1920’s Florida town containing dining offerings, rides, attractions and a unique collection of shops. Old Town’s fun weekly events can be enjoyed by multi-generational families and friends. On March 30th, 2020, Old Town celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Saturday Nite Classic Car Cruise. It is recognized as America’s longest running weekly car show and cruise. We’ll also drive down to Palm Beach on this trip to visit our fabulous team at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, which TTC has owned and run since 1989.