These Trending Destinations Should be at the Top of Your Summer Wish-List

Lauren Powell
by Lauren Powell

Move over Paris, New York, and Bali, there’s a new wave of destinations making a name for themselves. While we love the obvious tourist-flocking hotspots as much as the next avid travel, we also love a trip off the beaten track. But with so many bucket list-worthy places begging to be explored, choosing a hidden gem can be a difficult task. To assist, travel experts at KAYAK.com.au have analysed booking data to uncover trending destinations that have experienced significant growth in popularity in the past year. The result? A selection of must-see holiday spots travellers should consider booking, stat. Scroll on, your next memorable escape is awaiting you.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Us Aussie travellers are always hungry for exotic and authentic experiences. Sri Lanka ticks all the boxes—not only does it have plenty of sun, surf, and sand, it offers a wide variety of adventurous experiences, like jungle safaris, white-water rafting, and rock-climbing. With spectacular temples and culinary delights, it’s no wonder this destination has seen a 99% increase in bookings for 2016. To top things off, this island nation is home to some can’t-be-missed surf spots.

Hyderabad, India

India has long been a country of interest for travellers that thirsty for an experience off the beaten track. While hotspots like New Delhi and Mumbai are popular, it’s Hyderabad in India’s south that’s catching everyone’s attention this year. Once an epicentre for diamond trading, Hyderabad has a rich cosmopolitan past and mesmerises its guests with its many historic buildings, including the Charminar and Golconda Fort. It’s also home to Ramoji Film city—the world’s largest film city. Nicknamed the ‘City of Pearls’, Hyderabad is coming into its own as a tourist destination with bookings more than doubling since 2015, up by 148%.

San Francisco, USA

Forget NYC and .LA., San Francisco is this year’s dark horse with bookings increasing by 65% on 2015 figures. Australian travellers are making a bee-line for the bay city with its rolling hills, cable cars and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. San Fran is a cultural melting pot and boasts some of the finest restaurants in the world. Apart from putting their palate to the test, visitors to California’s fourth largest city shouldn’t miss Alcatraz Island, the infamous penitentiary in the middle of San Francisco bay.

Manchester, UK

Don’t mistake Manchester for a second rate city. With a killer football team and an endless list of things to see and do, it’s no wonder bookings to this UK destination have increased by 52% since last year. Boasting a rich industrial past, history buffs should visit the city’s Museum of Science & Industry. However, for the ultimate Manchester experience, scoring tickets to a football showdown between City and United is a must. With bookings to London declining by 8% since 2015, one thing is clear—Australian travellers are looking for unique experiences beyond the capital cities.     

Hanoi, Vietnam

With mouth-watering street food and a fascinating history worth digging one’s teeth into, Hanoi’s growing popularity amongst Aussies comes as no shock. Since 2015, flights booked by Aussies to this subtropical Vietnamese destination have grown by 41%. Hanoi, Vietnam’s lively and vibrant capital city is bursting at the seams with culture. The stunning, UNESCO listed Halong Bay made famous by James Bond is only a short drive away.

Manila, Philippines

Across the South China Sea, travellers are heading in droves to the Philippines, with bookings to Manila, the country’s capital, up by 59%. Manila is both cool and kitsch and has a wealth of experiences on offer—from its eclectic art galleries, cafes, and museums to its burning red sunsets and street parades. Australians tired of temples are taking a trip to this former Spanish colony, known for its many culinary delights including street food that’s cheap, cheerful, and tasty.

Shanghai, China

While bookings to Beijing have declined by 27% since last year, Shanghai, China’s largest city, has experienced a surge in popularity with bookings jumping by 43%. Indeed, Aussies are beginning to realise there’s much more to China than the Great Wall, with globetrotters making their way to Shanghai to soak up the city’s dynamic, diverse east-meets-west culture. Its futuristic skyscrapers and buildings tower over the city, filled with an unbeatable nightlife.

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