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Travel Show with Arthur Frommer: China, pot states are top stops

February 23, 2013|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Longtime travel expert Arthur Frommer outlined top travel trends for 2013 at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show on Saturday
Longtime travel expert Arthur Frommer outlined top travel trends for 2013… (Tom Politeo )

China because it's cheap, and Colorado and Washington because of their newly legalized pot status are among the top trending vacation spots for 2013, according to the dean of travel, Arthur Frommer.

Frommer, who started writing travel guides in the 1950s, spoke to a packed hall of hundreds Saturday morning at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show about the places that are hot on people's radar right now.

"The single hottest destination in travel today continues to be China," Frommer said. He noted low prices -- less than $1,000 per person for a week's stay in winter with airfare from Los Angeles, hotel and extras -- as the reason to go. He mentioned multiple-city tours offered by ChinaSpree in Seattle, Pacific Delight Tours, Ritz Tours and China Focus as operators offering values that travelers could never match on a European vacation.

Frommer warned that cheap trips to China won't last forever; prices likely will go up when the Chinese government starts increasing the value of the yuan, he said.

He also singled out Ireland (particularly from the East Coast) and India as places travelers like because the dollar goes a long way. (Remember, Frommer made his name with "Europe on $5 a Day" in the mid-1950s, so he's super tuned in to exchange rates and how they affect vacation plans.)

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, too, has become popular for being a place "whose sole selling feature is that they expose you to luxury of the sort you have never experienced before."

In the U.S., Frommer says Miami and Miami Beach are hot right now, particularly among travelers from Panama, Ecuador and Colombia. And the South American influence has brought great restaurants to the Florida beach town too. 

And he notes, Washington state and Colorado are seeing an "incredible surge" as a travel destination after each legalized the use of marijuana in November. "They all claim they don't want this type of tourism, yet the hotels are licking their chops over the hundreds of thousands of people who will go to Colorado and Washington to enjoy this," Frommer said.

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