Which Greek island will Australians choose for 2015?
The latest research shows that Aussies are ditching the standard European holidays for more exotic locations. Global travel search engine Skyscanner has revealed the top 10 destinations that are tipped to surge in popularity next year.
Skyscanner’s Dave Boyte said the findings were exciting for travellers. “Skyscanner’s more than 30 million searches to the site every month worldwide means we can predict with some confidence the kind of travel trends we’ll see in 2015. We have also conducted further research looking at other factors that stimulate interest in a destination, like festivals, new hotels and infrastructure improvements. The result is a robust picture of the hottest destinations for Aussies next year and hopefully something to inspire travellers around the country.”
Flight searches from Australia for this emerging country were up 56 per cent with many luxury hotel brands rushing to move in.
2. Greece – Mykonos
This party island in Greece is experiencing a revival thanks to it becoming back in vogue with celebrities and famous DJs. Naomi Campbell, Ronaldo and Lindsay Lohan were all spotted on this Greek paradise this year and it’s being promoted as the cheaper, more fun version of Ibiza.
Mykonos is back in fashion with the party set.
Flight searches to Iceland are up 32 per cent by Australians thanks to its incredible natural landscape. It’s home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes and geothermal springs. There has also been a major increase in solar activity, with the Aurora Borealis (more commonly known as the Northern Lights) predicted to be particularly spectacular in 2015.
The FIFA World Cup placed Brazil firmly back on the tourist map and Australian searches for flights here are up a whopping 45 per cent.
Footy fever has brought a resurgence of tourists to Brazil.
Improvements in infrastructure and an increased frequency of flights from Europe and North America are making Panama a more attractive destination. Hotels including the Hilton and Ritz Carlton have recently opened aimed at attracting the luxury traveller.
Panama is becoming famous for more than just the Panama Canal.
6. New Caledonia
This tiny and remote island archipelago, 3200 kilometres off the East coast of Australia with a population of just 246,000, enjoyed a heyday as a cheap-and-cheerful package destination for Aussie mass-market tourists until the mid-2000s.
It’s currently on the rise again with the former French colony undergoing a major change of personality that will see it re-emerge as an up-market niche hotspot for wealthy eco-travellers.
Isolated paradise, New Caledonia is pitching to the luxury crowd.
7. Seoul, South Korea
With the world’s appetite for Korean popular culture (the Korean Wave) showing no signs of abating since the world went crazy for Gangham style two years ago, Seoul is seeing its popularity as a tourist magnet soar.
8. Colombo, Sri Lanka
With amazing cuisine, beautiful beaches and luxury hotels, Colombo has been earning itself a well-deserved reputation as a top destination for international travellers. Australians appear to catching on quickly as flight searches increased 19 per cent. With Sri Lanka’s first film festival in 2014, ongoing restoration of its colonial architecture, a variety of new hotel openings and casinos planned, it is predicted that Colombo’s appeal is set to soar in 2015. Colombo is full of cultural history.
Shaking its reputation for political strife, Nicaragua is giving Brazil a run for its money, with flight searches up a huge 48 per cent. Eco-tourism, adventure travel, budget travel and luxury tourism are all gaining ground with Mukal, the country’s first 5 star hotel opening in 2013.
It’s not hard to see why eco-tourism has taken off in Nicaragua.
10. Okinawa, Japan
A chain of thousands of subtropical islands stretching 1,000km across the South China Sea from the southwest tip of Japan almost to Taiwan, this beautiful and varied archipelago has remained a tourist paradise known only to the locals.
But a string of new luxury hotels, linked to tales of world-class diving, unspoilt jungle, pure white beaches, UNESCO heritage sites, and a fascinating and ancient culture and cuisine, will make Okinawa a magnet for Australian travellers in 2015.
Once a locals only spot, Okinawa is slowly being found out by the rest of the world.