Claire recommends Lisbon for an alternative European city break. Photo: Getty Images

BA People • January 2017

The Gurus

Claire Bentley

Managing director, British Airways Holidays

Still seeking inspiration for your big 2017 holiday? Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, answers your travel questions and reveals the hottest destinations, latest trends and where you can still make the most of the British pound

Which destinations are on your 2017 travel radar?
We’re expecting a large uptake in holidays to the Middle East as an alternative for Sharm el Sheikh and Turkey. Caribbean all-inclusive holidays are also forecast to be popular – especially with currency fluctuations – because they offer upfront, locked-in costs for food and drink.

New York’s Waldorf Astoria closes its door for a three-year refurbishment in spring 2017, so visit the Big Apple before it does. The Canary Islands, especially Tenerife, offer year-round sunshine, while Greece’s Thessaloniki and Halkidiki are exciting alternatives for a Mediterranean summer retreat.

Inset 1

Book a stay at New York’s Waldorf Astoria before it closes for refurbishment in spring 2017

Where can I go for a curious city break?
Try Lisbon – it has everything you expect from a major city, and fantastic beaches. Seville makes for a colourful break, with its festivals and thriving nightlife scene.

Best places to stretch the weak British pound?
The pound isn’t dropping as significantly against the South African rand as it is with other currencies, so it’s a great time to visit Cape Town – especially with additional BA flights from Gatwick. In Europe, try Prague, Dubrovnik or Reykjavik, where they use their own currency, not the euro.

Inset 2

Go all-inclusive in St Lucia to stretch the weak British pound. Photo: Getty Images

Where would you recommend for an all-inclusive break?
The Dominican Republic offers fantastic value. For mainstream Caribbean resorts, Coconut Bay in St Lucia or Almond Beach Resort in Barbados are great for families. In Halkidiki, Ikos Oceania and Ikos Olivia sit on Greece’s magnificent northern peninsula, with private beaches and landscaped gardens.

What’s new at British Airways Holidays?
We’ve launched ski holidays, so you can book flights and hotels, including chalets, in ski resorts across Europe, the USA and Canada. Our Customise your trip tool for multi-centre holidays is proving extremely popular in destinations such as South Africa and the USA, because customers can visit more than one destination.

What’s the advantage of booking with British Airways Holidays?
We understand travellers are nervous in the current climate. All our holidays are ATOL protected, so you have peace of mind that you’re covered should anything unforeseen happen. You can also book your holiday early with a small deposit payment and settle the balance anytime up until five weeks before you travel.

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips