Abta reveals top ten gap year travel destinations

Abta reveals top ten gap year travel destinations

There are few surprises as Abta released its top ten gap year travel destinations to coincide with today’s release of A Level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Australia retained the top spot but Thailand took over from New Zealand at number two and Colombia, Laos and Cambodia have entered the top 10.

Countries to keep an eye on for 2017 include Japan and Indonesia, both of which having seen growth in popularity.

Booking Increases of more than 20% have been reported by Abta members specialising in gap year travel in the past 12 months.

Australasia, South East Asia, the US and South America have been the most popular destination choices.

Some are also reporting increased interest in trips of a shorter duration.

An estimated 29,000 school leavers deferred their university entry in 2015.

Tens of thousands of school and college leavers are also expected to be deferring and many of these will be taking a gap year trip before starting their courses in 2017.

After work experience and job placements, the next most popular trips for gappers are volunteering trips. These include working on a range of projects including renewable energy in South America, marine conservation in Madagascar and wildlife and ecological research in South Africa.

Abta destinations and sustainability director, Nikki White, said: “A gap year should be one of the most memorable and formative events in the lives of the thousands of young people who will be heading off overseas in the next 12 months.

“Foreign travel can present a range of challenges, especially in less affluent countries and it is incredibly important that gap year students do their research and plan in advance so they can travel safely and get the most out of their experiences.

“Gap year students also often pay out large sums of money to specialist companies and it is really important that they ensure their money is well spent and placed with a reputable company.”

Top ten gap year destinations reported by Abta members specialising in gap year travel:

New Zealand
Laos and Cambodia
East Africa


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