Tired of the same old travel destinations and seeking fresh inspiration? While iconic places like Paris, Provence, and Tuscany are undeniably stunning, the world is brimming with lesser-explored gems waiting to be discovered.
According to the latest survey conducted by Booking.com, the preferred destinations for APAC travellers in 2024 have witnessed a noteworthy 50 percent surge in searches as compared to 2022, promising unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences.
Interestingly, the majority of these ten hidden gems are nestled within the diverse landscapes of Asia. Travellers are increasingly drawn to the allure of emerging destinations, with a particular focus on countries like Japan, India, and the Philippines, offering a perfect blend of proximity and intrigue.
If you’re yearning to break free from the ordinary and embark on a journey of discovery, consider these ten underrated off-the-beaten-path destinations in 2024:
Top 10 emerging destinations that APAC travellers searched for (in order)
- Camarinas, Spain
- Mexico, USA
- Palauig, Philippines
- Assolna, India
- Jozankei, Japan
- Login, UK
- Don Det, Laos
- Haidar Sahibguda
- Akalkot, India
- Ramanagaram, India
Why off-the-beaten-path destinations are gaining popularity among APAC travellers
Jozankei in Japan; Don Det in Laos, and Palauig in Philippines – amidst the chaos of daily life, travellers yearn to embrace the thrill of the unexpected and explore unexplored destinations during their vacations. According to research conducted by Booking.com, over half (55%) of travellers based in the APAC region express a strong interest in booking surprise trips, where even the destination remains unknown until they arrive.
“While the arrival of 2024 brings about new resolutions and goal planning, tourists on the other hand are craving something that even the most seasoned travellers fear – unpredictability. Booking.com’s Travel Prediction 2024 research reveals that three in four (74%) APAC-based travellers are opting to travel with loose plans so they can change direction based on what feels good at the moment,” reveals Laura Houldsworth, Managing Director & Vice President for Asia Pacific, Booking.com, in an interview with Her World.
The evolving attitude of APAC-based travellers is also reflected in their preference to venture off the beaten path (58%) to destinations such as Camarinas (Spain), Mexico (USA), and Palauig (Philippines) – being the top three emerging destinations that has seen over 50% increase in searches in comparison to 2022.
“This emerging trend of spontaneity among APAC-based travellers has encouraged a stronger incentive for last-minute bookings calling for the need for fast and flexible tech-enabled services, giving travellers the option to cancel, change plans, and buy now, pay later. The explosion of AI and the launch of Booking.com’s AI Trip Planner answers that call with over half (54%) willing to trust AI to plan a trip for them.”
The demand for unique and unconventional travel experiences
According to Laura, travellers are craving unpredictability, and this change in mindset calls for unique and unconventional experiences to come to the fore over the past few years.
She further shares: “In 2024, our latest Travel Predictions research unveils that APAC-based travellers are ‘Surrender Seekers’, increasingly wanting to surrender themselves to the element of surprise, explore the unknown and venture into uncharted territory on vacation.”
APAC-based travellers echoed a similar sentiment in 2023, where they were seeking unique vacations that shock, surprise and delight. “One particular trend that stood out in our 2023 Travel Predictions research was ‘Delight in the discomfort zone’ where two-thirds (57%) of APAC-based travellers wanted to experience culture shock in 2023 – whether it is exploring lesser-known cities with hidden gems that are not already on the radar (27%) or travelling somewhere with completely different cultural experiences and languages (51%). More than three-quarters (80%) of them were seeking ‘out of comfort zone’ travel, paving the way for an influx of niche experiences that pushed them to the limits. For example, half (50%) of APAC-based travellers were on the hunt for the world’s most exotic delicacy such as the hottest chilli pepper.”
Travel predictions and trends in 2024
According to Booking.com’s annual Travel Predictions research, the year 2024 is expected to redefine travel as an integral part of life. A substantial four out of five travellers based in the APAC region (80%) express the sentiment that they feel more alive than ever during their vacations.
“We can expect a shift in travel motivations as more travellers embark on trips centred around self-care, personal growth, and holistic well-being.”
Laura notes that these emerging pursuits have shaped notable personas that reflect a broader trend of travellers in APAC:
– Reboot Retreaters: Where amidst an ever-hectic world, these travellers are booking trips to bring themselves back to the life they truly want again. About two-thirds (66%) wish to travel to solely focus on uninterrupted shuteye. While it is no surprise that rest is on the top of the agenda, we are likely seeing more travellers adopting an experimental approach to travel, welcoming sleep concierges and cutting-edge tech to elevate one’s sleep experience for instance.
– (Alter) Ego Enthusiasts: In 2024, travel will become a canvas for self-expression as we see travellers become their own stars in their journey. 63% radiate ‘main character energy’ on their vacations, attributing it to a newfound sense of empowerment through travel. More than a third (46%) make up stories about their real life to people they meet on their travels — perhaps as a way to explore the facets of their personalities that might remain dormant in their everyday lives.
Oher interesting trends to keep an eye out for include matchmaking trips, where over half (46%) of APAC-based travellers are gearing up for escapades where their primary order of business is to find a spark with a new partner or lover. Travellers in the region are also keeping climate change top of mind this year (60%), with close to two-thirds (60%) of Mindful Aesthetes on the lookout for chic yet sustainable accommodations equipped with wow-factor innovations.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or opinions, but I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in this article.
Off-the-beaten-path destinations are gaining popularity among APAC (Asia-Pacific) travelers. These destinations offer unique and unconventional travel experiences, allowing travelers to explore unexplored places and embrace the thrill of the unexpected. According to a survey conducted by Booking.com, there has been a 50% surge in searches for these destinations compared to 2022.
Emerging Destinations in 2024
The article mentions the top 10 emerging destinations that APAC travelers searched for in 2024. These destinations include Camarinas in Spain, Mexico in the USA, Palauig in the Philippines, Assolna in India, Jozankei in Japan, Login in the UK, Don Det in Laos, Haidar Sahibguda Akalkot in India, and Ramanagaram in India.
Travel Trends and Preferences
APAC-based travelers are increasingly seeking unique and unconventional travel experiences. They are embracing unpredictability and venturing off the beaten path. According to Booking.com's Travel Prediction 2024 research, over half (55%) of APAC-based travelers express a strong interest in booking surprise trips, where even the destination remains unknown until they arrive. This trend of spontaneity has led to a stronger incentive for last-minute bookings and the need for fast and flexible tech-enabled services. Additionally, the research reveals that APAC-based travelers are willing to trust AI (Artificial Intelligence) to plan their trips.
Travel Predictions and Trends in 2024
Booking.com's annual Travel Predictions research suggests that the year 2024 will redefine travel as an integral part of life. Four out of five travelers based in the APAC region (80%) express the sentiment that they feel more alive than ever during their vacations. The research identifies several emerging travel personas, including "Reboot Retreaters" who seek uninterrupted shuteye, "(Alter) Ego Enthusiasts" who use travel as a canvas for self-expression, and "Mindful Aesthetes" who prioritize sustainable accommodations with wow-factor innovations. Other trends to watch out for include matchmaking trips and a focus on climate change and sustainability.
In conclusion, off-the-beaten-path destinations are gaining popularity among APAC travelers in 2024. These travelers are seeking unique and unconventional travel experiences and are embracing unpredictability. Booking.com's Travel Prediction 2024 research highlights emerging travel trends and preferences, including a desire for surprise trips, trust in AI for trip planning, and a focus on self-care, personal growth, and holistic well-being during vacations.
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