Expedia’s ‘Hot List’ of must-visit destinations for 2011
Expedia.co.nz names its top 10 ‘hot’ destinations for 2011
Expedia.co.nz, operated by Expedia, Inc., the world’s leading online travel company, has announced its list of top 10 ‘hot’ destinations for 2011.
According to recent flight bookings on Expedia.co.nz, medium- and long-haul destinations such as North America and Europe are proving to be favourites among kiwi travellers, with some destinations recording almost triple-digit year-on-year growth and 2011 is promising to be a another bumper year for New Zealanders wanting to pack their bags and explore the big wide world.
Louise Crompton, Senior Manager Marketing of Expedia.co.nz, says: “We are starting to see some destinations that may have been off the cards for New Zealanders for some time once again become popular hotspots, many of which have become great value for money as a result of weakening international currencies and substantial discounting at these destinations.”
Ms Crompton said that value for money remains a priority for savvy travellers. “Our customers tell us that where you book matters and that they are looking for more choice and exceptional deals when planning their travel.
“We hope this list will inspire New Zealanders to get them planning their holidays next year. With Expedia customers have all the tools needed to get them to a 2011 ‘hot’ destination with ease,” she said.
Expedia’s Top 10 ‘hot’ destinations for 2011:
Topping the list is the United States. Always a favourite, now more than ever travellers are flocking to the States thanks to the weakening US Dollar. Five cities not to be missed are: New York; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; San Francisco and Orlando. Each of these cities offers something unique and overflows with fascinating culture, great cuisine and exciting entertainment. First timers to the US will fall in love with the unforgettable electrifying buzz of New York, experience sensory overload in neon-lit Las Vegas, and be captivated by the beautiful scenery of San Francisco.
Canada is cool with a capital ‘C’ and is one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world. For many travellers, Vancouver is a natural first port of entry. The city of Vancouver is nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, making it a nature paradise with miles of scenic hiking trails and bike paths that sweep along the Strait of Georgia, the pine tree-lined waterway that connects Vancouver with the Pacific Ocean. One of the most amazing landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place, the city’s cruise ship port. The port has breathtaking panoramic views of the sparkling North Vancouver and surrounding mountains.
Expedia’s Foreign Exchange Index, which tracks international destinations representing the best value for the Kiwi Dollar, has revealed that Eastern Europe is emerging as one of the best value-for-money destinations. The Czech Republic is an ideal starting point. Filled with the charm of former centuries and rich art museums, few would argue that the beautiful city of Prague is a compelling destination. A little to the south, travellers will find Hungary, also packed with loads of history and Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest lake, which is perfect for swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. Latvia is also seeing surging numbers of travellers, with some of the most splendid scenery and highlights including the Gulf of Riga and the wild Baltic Sea.
Spain will see over two million young people visit Madrid in August 2011 to celebrate World Youth Day, a mega event that attracts young Catholics from the around the world. Travellers will love the rich diversity of Spain from its rugged Atlantic coastline and fresh mountain air to the bullfights, tapas, flamenco of the south, and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.
Outdoor enthusiasts, culture seekers and history buffs will fall in love with Scandinavia. Travellers heading over in the summer will enjoy all the music festivals, water sports, hiking and biking tours, while in winter world-class skiing and winter sports and cosy wood-fired cafes are a perfect way to spend the day. A good starting point is Copenhagen, Denmark, where travellers will be amazed at the well preserved medieval streets, renowned art galleries and Michelin starred restaurants providing exquisite dining experiences. The weakening of the Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone and the Sweden Krona, against major currencies has meant that there has never been a better time for travellers to travel to this part of the world, typically not a destination for budget travellers.
New Zealanders can look forward to their own backyard coming alive next year as the country prepares for the Rugby World Cup in October. New Zealand is a nation that is passionate about rugby and the 2011 Rugby World Cup will be the biggest-ever international event to be held in New Zealand. The event is set to attract over 80,000 avid rugby fans and travellers from all around the globe, and the lively atmosphere created by this major sporting event is sure to have everyone, even the few who don’t follow the sport, caught up in the excitement. The South Island remains the hot favourite for short-haul travel with Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, Arthur’s Pass National Park, Banks Peninsula, Hanmer Springs, and Tekapo, Coleridge and Pukaki lakes just some of the amazing sights New Zealanders can enjoy.
Thailand is still a hot holiday destination and is one of the few places where you can live like a king on a budget of around $30 a day, making it one of the best value-for-money destinations. Pristine blue waters, waterfalls, coral reefs swarming with rainbow-coloured fish, temples, and a vibrant nightlife, are just some of the reasons travellers keep returning to Thailand. Those who enjoy pampering and being rejuvenated will be in pure bliss. Days can be filled with swimming and snorkeling, or alternatively for a cultural experience, visit the temples, palaces and ancient ruins all before treating your taste buds to some of the most delicious Thai food ever.
Great value for money on the ground has long made Bali a popular pick among travellers. Known as the ‘Jewel of Indonesia’, Bali is definitely the place to go for travellers craving a spiritual and relaxing break. Ancient temples, museums and palaces are ‘must-visits’ and travellers will fall in love with the island’s lush, green landscape and the vibrant culture of beauty, art, timeless ceremonies and music. By day simply enjoy lazing on the picturesque beaches, and by night discover the glittering nightlife that attracts both the young and old.
South America has always been high on the wish list for many travellers and is the destination of choice for many young travellers for their first overseas trip. This massive continent was built for travel and offers endless amounts of excitement, thrills and challenges. South America is home to some of the most captivating natural wonders and landmarks with just some of these including Machu Picchu in Peru, the Amazon in Brazil, Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. After visiting the most famous landmarks, head to the Ibera wetlands, a rarely visited part of Argentina, to view some weird and wonderful wildlife. Alternatively, escape the crowds and visit the area around Chiclayo and Cajamarca in Peru these warm, friendly towns in the North are home to quieter beaches, more ruins and museums for you to enjoy.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away is the extraordinary Australia, a long time favourite among Kiwis. Western Australia is indeed an extraordinary destination and if you’re looking to step into a world of awe-inspiring beauty and discover experiences found nowhere else on earth, this is your place. Thanks to the incredible diversity of places and experiences on offer in WA, Kiwi travellers will be amazed at just how much they can fit in and get out of their visit and still have time to kick back and relax. Beyond the charming city of Perth, travellers should head to the Margaret River wine region or take to the coastal route between Perth and Broome, also very popular for those wishing to experience diverse landscapes and a memorable road trip.
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