If you are looking for the best places to go next year, here’s the Top 10 holiday hotspots for 2015 predicted by travel search site Skyscanner and shared with YourHols.
The mix of countries and cities range from mainstream, well-known destinations such as Mykonos and Australia’s Gold Coast to the more intrepid destinations of Siem Reap and Nicaragua.
The list of Top 10 holiday hotspots comes from the analysis of millions of Skyscanner flight searches from the last three years, combined with qualitative research carried out by futurology companies following consumer trends and influences. Here’s the countries to watch in 2015…
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This sunny city has been attracting tourists, especially spring breakers, since the 1960s, however it is now regenerating itself to attract a more sophisticated crowd and is predicting to be a popular choice for Brits in 2015.
Investments in its infrastructure include a £500 million expansion of its airport, a brand new high speed rail station and the creation of ultra-luxury accommodation including a Conrad Hotel scheduled to open next year. This investment, combined with a major marketing push to the LBGT community, appears to be having the desired effect so far with global searches up 26% and searches from the UK up 32%.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better airline links and improved overland transport, coupled with a decision to grant visa exemptions to many ASEAN countries has seen a global increase in searches of 33%. ‘Nearly 75% of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia come from Asia-Pacific countries and the economy in those countries is doing well, so it encourages people to travel abroad,’ says Tourism Minister Thong Khon.
To accommodate these tourist numbers, the city is seeing a wide choice of upmarket hotels spring up and this is likely to make the city a popular choice for luxury British travellers in 2015 too. Picture: Thinkstock
With a range of celebs including Ronaldo, Jennifer Lopez and Lindsay Lohan flocking to the Greek party town and its luxury hotels in 2014, Mykonos is experiencing somewhat of a revival with a massive 31% increase in searches from the UK, buoyed by the new direct BA flights from Heathrow.
Further endorsement by superstar DJs such as Afrojack, who has claimed that tourists will get a “cheaper and more fun” experience in Mykonos than in Ibiza, combined with the opening of new luxury hotels, ensures the destination will become the hip place to be seen in 2015. Picture: Shutterstock
Already seeing an increase in popularity, playing host to The FIFA World Cup in 2014 ensured Brazil was firmly placed on the map as a key holiday destination for Brits. However, as is the case with London following the 2012 Olympics, the tourism benefits are expected to follow a year or two later once flight and hotel prices are perceived to be cheaper but the investment in infrastructure can still be felt. So far UK searches are up 26% but it is expected that 2015 will be another bumper year for Brazilian tourism. Picture: Thinkstock
Australia’s Gold Coast
As excitement starts to build for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast is shedding its old image as a mecca for college break crowds and surf dudes with luxury glamping and boutique hotels ensuring a wider appeal. New air routes are encouraging more tourists to fly direct to the Gold Coast, a stat reflected in the 18% increase in searches from the UK. The region’s popularity is expected to grow further still in 2015 with Jonny Depp’s arrival to film Pirates of the Caribbean 5, showcasing the area’s spectacular beaches.
With an average annual increase in global searches of 56%, Taipei is set to attract even more well-heeled tourists in 2015 – a far cry from its three star hotel past. The city is undergoing an ambitious urban renewal offering tourists an arty, hip vibe, high end shopping and a range of new hotels including chic boutiques and big international hotel brands including Le Meridian, W Hotels and Mandarin Oriental – all of which are likely to appeal to the British traveller looking for the latest in vogue destination.
Nicaragua, Central America
Shaking its reputation for political strife, Nicaragua is emerging as the new Costa Rica with a 13% increase in searches from the UK. Eco-tourism, adventure travel, budget travel and luxury tourism are all gaining ground.
Mukal, the country’s first five-star hotel opened in 2013 along with a small selection of luxury boutique hotels and top end dining, all of which contribute to the anticipation of an exciting emerging destination in 2015. Picture: Murphy O’Brien PR
Seoul, South Korea
With the world’s appetite for Korean popular culture (the Korean Wave) showing no signs of abating, it is perhaps no surprise that the country’s tourism is seeing the effects, with a 50% increase in global searches to the technologically advanced city of Seoul.
Although the growth in searches from the UK has been less spectacular to date (12%), the city’s fantastic shopping catering for the many Chinese tourists, hip food and drink outlets heavily influenced by the American culture and the opening of luxury budget hotels such as Starwood’s Aloft brand, ensure that Seoul’s popularity with Brits is set to rocket in 2015. Picture: Korean Tourism Organisation
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 (global searches are up 25%). However the UK appears to be slightly slower off the mark to realise its appeal with searches only up 12%.
But 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 will be one to watch in 2015. Picture: Thinkstock
Panama, Central America
Improvements in infrastructure such as the city’s Metro which opened in 2014, along with increased frequency of flights from Europe and North America is making Panama a more attractive destination for tourists, clearly visible in the 12% increase in global searches.
However searches from the UK are up only a modest 3%, but a slew of new hotel openings including the Hilton and the planned Ritz Carlton and the growing Western “obsession” for quality coffee and thus the country’s many coffee tours, is likely to attract many more luxury travellers from the UK in 2015. Picture: Thinkstock