Cheap fights comparison site Skyscanner (www.Skyscanner.net) introduces five destinations that, following serious setbacks from epidemics to natural disasters, are now back on the tourist trail.
Machu Picchu, Peru
In January 2010, massive flooding in the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu trapped 4000 tourists and led to the closure of the ancient Inca site; searches on Skyscanner for flights to Peru plummeted by 349%. Following two months of closure, it is now welcoming visitors again and searches for Peru flights have since returned to their pre-flood levels.
One year ago swine flu meant Mexico was a no-go zone for most tourists, leading to what the Mexico Tourist Board deemed the “lost summer”, after thousands of visitors cancelled holidays. Now the pandemic is in the past and tourists are taking advantage of cut price flights to Mexico as the country vies to bring the holidaymakers back to its shores. Searches for flights to Mexico on Skyscanner have risen by 164% since last year.
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Following a three and a half year siege from 1992-96, the once popular Sarajevo disappeared from tourist brochures. But the Bosnian capital has now been named one of the top ten cities to visit in the Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2010” and is back on the tourist trail, reporting a 7.7% rise in visitors last year.
Following negative publicity surrounding ongoing problems over the last few months, Greece’s tourist industry looks set to take a hit this summer. However, Greece is urging tourists not to avoid the country on account of exaggerated media reports and it is expected that any strikes will be over by summer and that tourist areas will remain largely unaffected anyway.
Back in the 1960s, Kashmir was part of the hippy trail and it has won high praise from The Beatles and Michael Palin. But ongoing fighting between India, Pakistan, China and Kashmiris themselves has severely hampered the development of the area and kept all but the most adventurous away. Now the troubles are quieting and the tourists are returning. And with excellent powder skiing and trekking in pristine mountains, it’s about time too.