Bali becomes most popular Asian destination – Wotif
Online travel agency, Wotif.com, has announced its most popular Asian destinations for 2010, with Bali topping the annual list. The Indonesian holiday island rose through the ranks this year to knock Singapore - which had previously held the number one spot for three years - down to third place, while Hong Kong climbed into second spot. Other destinations high on the list were Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, which proved popular despite political unrest in the country.
“Bali has always been a very popular destination with Wotif.com’s largely Australian and Asian following of travellers. With the region continuing to expand and improve its accommodation options it has really shown its potential as a travel destination through our site this year,” said Matthew Varley, Executive General Manager of Asia at Wotif.com.
“Although Singapore remains popular with our travellers, particularly with exciting new developments such as the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, it was outshone by the lure of the beach and the bright lights of rival Asian city Hong Kong. We are confident this will inspire some healthy competition between these markets as they contend for the top spot in 2011,” Varley added.
Top Asian destinations (by bookings) in 2010
2. Hong Kong
6. Kuala Lumpur
7. Ho Chi Minh City
8. Koh Samui
The top 10 most visited regions remained largely the same, except Indonesia which climbed three positions to second place, overtaking Singapore which sank to number five. Thailand stayed the front-runner in 2010, demonstrating its resilience despite political events.
Top Asian regions (by bookings) in 2010
3. Hong Kong
“With an incredible variety of landscapes, cultures and activities, Asia’s popularity with travellers worldwide continues to grow quickly. Regions like Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore are constantly proving to be crowd-pleasing choices for a holiday,” Varley said.
“One region to watch in 2011 is Indonesia. Bali especially has managed to harness the positive hype around the major Hollywood movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, converting many into lovers of Bali. This year we expect travellers’ love affairs with Bali to continue and its booking numbers to keep growing.”
Asia’s appeal to travellers was underlined by an online survey on 2011 travel trends conducted in December 2010 by Wotif.com. When asked where they wanted to vacation in 2011, almost 40% were planning a trip to Southeast Asia, beating North America and the UK which both registered 34%. At 50% and 43% respectively, Australia-New Zealand and Western Europe were the only regions that more people wanted to visit than Southeast Asia. Close to 30% were keen on a holiday in North Asia, a similar number to that for Eastern Europe.
“Southeast Asia is holding its own against traditionally popular tourism destinations across the globe. Offering great value for money and fascinating cultures, it’s an excellent choice for your holidays this year,” said Varley. “Interestingly the majority (more than 63%) said they want to visit cities, compared to 22% who are looking for a relaxing beach or spa holiday. As such this year the city destinations in Southeast Asia could turn out to dominate travel demand in this part of the world.
“Singapore in particular is expected to do very well with another major attraction launching in 2011 - the Gardens by the Bay. This new development will help transform the Marina Bay area and make the cityscape one of the most attractive in the region. With this addition and continued initiatives by the Tourism Board we are confident that Singapore will do everything it can to regain its standing in the popular destinations list this year,” he added.