All-inclusive destinations such as Cuba and Cape Verde (pictured) have been tipped as being among next year’s alternatives to Sharm el-Sheikh and Tunisia where flights bans exist.
The predictions come from the analysis of millions of flight searches on Skyscanner from the last three years, combined with qualitative research carried out by the company’s travel experts.
The top five hot spots for 2016, based on percentage increase in searches from the UK over the last three years, are:
- Ponta Delgada, the Azores – 63%?
With more airlines flying to the Azores, including Ryanair’s new weekly flight from Stansted to Ponta Delgada, this autonomous region of Portugal is opening up as a viable budget travel destination.
- Havana, Cuba – 33%?
Cuba is back on the world stage as the US restored diplomatic relations in July and continues to loosen restrictions on trade. There may be flights from the US and US hotel chains opening in Cuba in 2016 if more restrictions are lifted. Many people are booking to travel to Cuba to experience the country before it changes beyond recognition and before prices rise as a result.
- Tokyo, Japan – 25%
Tourism has boomed under the current administration. The national tourist board is actively targeting niche UK markets by focusing on ski, honeymoon and adventure tourism offerings. Thanks to the excellent value Japan Rail Passes and Airbnb type accommodation, Tokyo is now 50% cheaper for UK travellers than in 2013, according to the Post Office’s long haul report. Japan will host the 2020 Olympics and the 2019 Rugby World Cup so attention will only increase throughout 2016. Hokkaido’s first Shinkansen high speed train starts in 2016, opening up more of Japan to visitors.
- Copenhagen, Denmark – 21%?
Recently voted the ninth most reputable city in the world, Copenhagen is a must visit for culture vultures and foodies alike. Home to the five-month long Tivoli Festival (May – September), classical music fans can expect a star-studded line up hosted at the Tivoli Gardens. The Copenhagen cooking festival takes place in February showcasing increasingly popular Nordic cuisine, whilst fashionistas can immerse themselves in Copenhagen’s Fashion Week, the largest of its kind in Northern Europe.
- Sal, Cape Verde – 14%?
With a reputation for unspoilt beaches and cobbled streets, the island of Sal is only just emerging as a tourist destination. Thomson Airways is adding a new route from Bristol in summer 2016. With chart topping acts and reality stars frequenting the islands, Skyscanner predicts the destination’s popularity will continue to rise. Sal is also a great base for exploring the rest of the archipelago, from the canyons, gorges and valleys of Santo Antao to the Sahara-like dunes of Boa Vista.
Skyscanner travel editor, Cat McGloin, said: “With 50 million searches to the site every month from all over the world, our search data gives us some really robust insight in to these trends.
“It’s interesting to see how people’s travel interests are changing and what these destinations are offering to become even more appealing.”
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