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27 Dec 2013

Holiday Hotspots

There's a lot to look forward to in 2014, with Aussies and Kiwis ready to travel both overseas and at home this year.  While the low Aussie dollar may keep some people at home and the relative strength of the Kiwi will boost the Aussie tourism industry, the draw of an overseas holiday is as strong as ever.  From quiet island getaways through to bustling city destinations and major sporting events, the holiday hot spot list for 2014 is as diverse and exciting as ever. 
Flight Centre has released their list of travel hot spots for the year, with a number of adventure and gourmet travel destinations making the cut.  Compiled by a team of experts and based on three major factors, this list sheds some light on where we will be travelling over the next 12 months.  According to Flight Centre general manager of marketing Colin Bowman, selections were mostly based on consumer demand, with travel industry offerings and expert forecasts also influencing the standings.

“Adventure and gourmet travel are high on the priority list for customers and we expect these trends to continue to soar,” said Mr Bowman, adding "Stop and flop holidays will always be a crowd pleaser, but more and more we are noticing our customers want more out of their holiday and a sense of adventure or a touch of gourmet are two ways they’re achieving this.”

According to Flight Centre, the number one travel destination of 2014 is Brazil.  South America has become a strong emerging market over the last few years, and Brazil is front and centre due to its status as host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  While Soccer fans will flock to Brazil in June and July, the World Cup will also highlight the beauty of Brazil to a global audience and influence tourist numbers throughout the year.  With the 2016 Olympics also taking place in Brazil, the land of wild jungles and Carnaval celebrations will experience a sports-led tourism boost for years to come.

Singapore holds the second hot spot on the Flight Centre list for 2014, as the city transforms from a stop-over hub to a fully-fledged tourism destination.  Singapore is especially attractive for Aussies and Kiwis, as the city provides a balanced mix of glamour, history, and culture not too far away from home.  In a similar vein, the ancient and ultra-modern wonders of Shanghai also make the cut in third position, as China opens up to the West in allowing visa-free transit stays up to 72 hours.

Other hot travel destinations on the Flight Centre list include New Orleans, South Africa, Costa Rica, New Caledonia, and Bhutan.  South Australia is the only local destination on the list, as tourists continue to look for "award winning wines, food and some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia."  Expedition cruising is also getting more popular with tourists, with Flight Centre listing the most popular destinations as the Kimberly, Norway, and Galapagos Islands.