reveals that travellers continue to travel in spite of a dire economy, casting their net further afield to pound-stretching destinations and new adventures.
In its latest Rising Stars report, Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK’s leading website for flight deals comparison, compares the difference in search volume on its site for the first six months of 2011 compared with those of 2010.
The list of 25 ranks the top five climbers for each of five continents: Europe, Asia/Oceania, North America, South America and Africa. Topping the list in first place is Bodrum in Turkey with a staggering 971 percent increase. In an unexpected second place is Iraq’s town of Erbil, which experienced 504 percent growth, while Hawaii’s sunny Kona comes in third at 110 percent increase. The Far East wins both fourth and fifth place with Hangzhou, China, and Sapporo, Japan increasing by 87 and 80 percent respectively.
“The trend shows that travel is still a priority even if budgets are tight. Continued economic slowdown has only served to create new destination trends with consumers literally willing to go the distance in places that will stretch their pounds,” says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“With its relative stability, northern Iraq first attracted business travellers, but now increased flights to the destination and development in the way of hospitality and hotels, has begun to draw intrepid tourists as well,” adds Hallak.
Turkey, a long time holiday favourite for Brits, is profiting from tourism opportunities more than ever this year. Those formerly bound for Egypt and Tunisia have turned their sights over to resort towns like Bodrum, for a similar offering in a more stable climate. Low ground costs also continue to serve as a clear example of consumers seeking great value for less.
Japan and China draw travellers for their great shopping and cultural offerings. As new places open for business, people are more open to trying them for tourism purposes. Evidence of this is clear further down the destinations list with Bujumbra, Burundi rising by 73 percent, Port Harcourt, Nigeria at 44 percent, and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe at 40 percent.
Another surprise, ranking in 15th place is Zakynthos, Greece, which has risen by 25 percent year on year. Hit hard by recession, the country slashed its prices, particularly over the summer, by up to 50 and 60 percent. Travellers flocked to its sunny shores for heavily discounted all-inclusive holidays in four and five star resorts.