Here are the top hotspots for 2015 based on destination searches by Indians
COME DECEMBER and travel enthusiasts start checking their holiday bookings and flight confirmations. For quite a few, the hot destination will be Goa, ski enthusiasts head for Gulmarg, and Kerala’s backwaters remain a perennial favourite. Nowadays, there’s a sense of adventure visible that has inspired many Indians to take the road less travelled. The travel search engine, Skyscanner, has come out with a list of top nine destinations that it expects Indian travellers to head to in the coming year. The top hotspots for 2015 based on destination searches by Indians are:
Taipei, Taiwan: Growing in popularity as a shopping mecca, Taipei is the top searched destination by Indians with an 85% increase in flight searches. What makes it attractive are its Chinese, Japanese and western influences in its food, culture, art and architecture. Apart from shopping, there are hot springs, river parks and colonial towns, while Taipei’s nightlife is also buzzing now.
Gold Coast, Australia: The rise of 77% in flight searches from India indicates Gold Coast’s growing popularity as the hottest tourist destination in Australia. As the name suggests, it has golden beaches, great restaurants and nightlife, plenty of attractions and fun things to do for the entire family.
Colombo: Emerging as a hot favourite with Indian travellers for its amazing cuisine, beaches, luxury hotels, colonial architecture and laidback ambience, Colombo has witnessed a growth of 67% in flight searches by Indian travellers.
Myanmar: After decades of isolation, Myanmar is opening up and attracting a great deal of interest. There’s much to see, including unspoiled beaches, new luxury hotels and major improvements in tourist infrastructure. Indians love to pick up Burmese gemstones, especially sapphire and jade.
Siem Reip, Cambodia: World-famous for the 12th-century Angkor Wat temple, Siam Reap has become a hot ticket for Indian travellers with a 48% increase in searches from India. It has reinvented itself as a world-class tourist destination with everything from chic restaurants to luxury spas.
Seoul, South Korea: The capital of South Korea has recorded an increase of 44% in destination searches from Indian travellers. Psy’s Gangman Style may have had something to do with it, but K Pop is not the only attraction. Seoul has been nominated as Unesco’s City of Design for its contemporary architecture and its traditional Korean parks and gardens. A westernised city with great shopping, cafes, bars and food stalls.
Iceland: The site of the world’s most active volcanoes and geothermal springs, tourist fascination for the ‘ice and fire’ landscape of Iceland has been growing. The Aurora Borealis—the Northern Lights—are expected to be particularly spectacular in 2015 and have resulted in an increase of 31% in flight searches from India.
Brazil: It could be the World Cup effect, but Brazil is now a must-do. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere, known for carnivals, samba, sand and the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain. For soccer fans, it’s a pilgrimage.
Bhutan: A short plane ride away, Bhutan has registered a 40% jump in searches as a destination to travel to and why not? It’s unspoilt, beautiful, a fine example of sustainable development, and the Gross National Happiness Index can be infectious.