As we begin the New Year, the word ‘recession’ lingers within our vocabulary, and while its effects have been mostly devastating, its impact on travel trends has been enlightening.
In its latest Travelnomics report, Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK’s leading price comparison site, explores these new trends by encouraging economic stimulus through travel for the world’s top ten worst hit economies.
“There’s no doubt we haven’t quite shaken off the impact of the recession, and while there are various negative aspects we can point to, believe it or not, there are some positives too,” says Nadine Hallak, spokesperson for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“Tighter budgets have given rise to new destinations adding intrepid flavour to the travel repertoire, and what better way to distribute your holiday budget than to stimulate another country’s economy while experiencing an entirely new culture,” adds Hallak.
The hot list for 2010 includes:
1) Latvia 61% up
2) Estonia 62% up
3) Lithuania 75% up
4) Iceland 3% down
5) Singapore 22% up
6) Venezuela 7% down
7) Jamaica 2% up
8) Ireland 44% up
9) Ukraine 16% down
10) Seychelles 45% up
*Statistics generated by Cheapflights.co.uk based on a comparison of search for last six months in 2009 against the same period in 2008
**List of countries issued by Forbes Magazine from the article ‘The World’s Hardest-Hit Economies’
It seems that travellers are swapping Spain’s Balearics for Eastern Europe’s Baltics for travel in the New Year with Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania taking the lead in the popularity stakes. Experience luxury for less in Estonia’s Hotel Olumpia with its unique sauna, enjoy a royal visit to Latvia’s Rundale Palace nicknamed ‘Versailles of the Baltics’, or head to Nida on the Curonian Spit for more of a bohemian break. With such a broad offering, it’s no wonder these countries are climbing in popularity.
For those who prefer to cast their net further afield, the sunny shores of the Seychelles and the exotic reaches of Singapore might be more to your taste. Or for a familiar experience closer to home, Ireland is also proving to be a massive draw for travellers in 2010.