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June 21, 2010
Travelers continue to seek new and exciting destinations
Hostelworld.com, the leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market has today announced the biggest growth markets* in the travel industry during the past year. The region that experienced the greatest rise in bookings was South America, with several destinations reporting an impressive three figure increases in booking numbers. Continuing a trend from recent years, South East Asia also experienced rapid growth with Thailand, Taiwan and Cambodia performing particularly well.
The Bolivian Salt Flats have been by far and away the biggest success story in terms of a 'new' tourist hotspot, illustrated by an incredible 316% rise in Hostelworld.com bookers to the nearby town of Uyuni. Columbia, which last year saw an increase of 266%, has continued this staggering upward trend with one of the largest cities, Santa Marta enjoying another rise of 267% over the past year. Fortaleza in Brazil (122%) and Montevideo, Uruguay (94%) were the other top performers on the continent.
Aisling White, Hostelworld.com representative comments on this rise, "We're delighted by the rise in the number of travelers heading to South America. It is fast becoming a very popular destination for our customer and there are a number of reasons that can be attributed to this. First and foremost is safety, countries such as Columbia has traditionally been seen as dangerous but this unfair image is slowly changing. Furthermore, South America has become more accessible - earlier this year Hostelworld.com signed a deal with Aerolíneas Argentinas and the number of hostels we work with over there has significantly increased, giving our customers even more choice."
Further unusual results reveal Jordan as being a popular destination amongst backpackers with both Amman and Aqaba seeing increasing by 65% and 54% respectively. Closer to home, Toulouse (126%), Pamplona (80%) and York (109%) were the best performing European destinations.
With the World Cup now in full swing it will come as no surprise to see South Africa enjoying one of their best years ever for travelers entering the country. Statistics on the nationalities making the trip to the Rainbow Nation are intriguing and give an insight into the fans really willing to pay out to watch their team battle for World Cup glory.
Predictably, football fanatics Argentina and Brazil came out top with an increase of 2624% and 1774% showing that fans are travelling to South Africa in vast numbers. Surprisingly however, the USA up 596% and Australia up 370% were the next biggest rises showing how much football is developing in these countries. England football fans, although perhaps not as fervent as they would claim are still willing to travel to cheer on Rooney et al, with a rise of 171%. On a more general note, bookings into Cape Town have risen by 40% and Johannesburg 28% on last year.
Aisling White, Hostelworld.com representative again, "It is not unusual to see bookings into South Africa so high with the biggest sporting event of the year held there this year. However it is interesting to see South America and Asia performing so well. Overall these figures continue to show the maturing of the budget travel industry with more people appreciating the options that hostelling gives them and are being seen as a real alternative to hotels. They also prove again that backpackers are the trailblazers in discovering new destinations."
*Data taken from Hostelworld.com hostel bookings YTD 2010 v YTD 2009
The global market leader for 10 years, Hostelworld.com is the leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for over 24,000 hostels and budget hotels in 186 countries worldwide. The site also offers budget travellers Travel Services, over 3 million user reviews, free travel videos, podcasts, customized city guides, a travel social network and more. Hostelworld.com is headquartered in Dublin and is fully owned and operated by Web Reservations International Ltd (WRI) www.hostelworld.com/press