Interesting long and mid-haul destinations are making the biggest impact in terms of increased bookings as the economic environment influences our travel patterns, according to leading online travel provider Opodo.co.uk.
Launching Opodo's list of ‘Up and Coming Destinations for 2009', Caroline Noble, UK director at Opodo UK, said the economy is encouraging people to be more adventurous and selective about their one main holiday, as short breaks in Europe decline in popularity.
"We're noticing a trend for our customers to invest their time and money into destinations that are a bit further away, but perhaps cheaper when they arrive. It's likely they are taking the strength of the euro as an opportunity to visit places in non-euro zones - destinations they might not have considered or have only dreamed of experiencing before."
Comparing bookings from last year to this year*, Opodo has compiled a list of up and coming destinations for 2009, and there are some surprise entries:
Lima, Peru (up 98%)
Amman, Jordan (up 79%)
Cairo, Egypt (up 76%)
Seoul, South Korea (up 67%)
Varna, Bulgaria (up 67%)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (up 60%)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (up 44%)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (up 43%)
Hong Kong (up 38%)
Orlando, USA (up 37%)
Istanbul, Turkey (up 31%)
Berlin, Germany (up 20%)
"Lima was a surprise entry for us - but this can again be attributed to adventurous spirit and economy. Cheaper flight routes are now available - travellers can fly to America with one airline and onwards with another, rather than paying for a more expensive direct flight to South America.
"But where we are really noticing the increase is in bookings to mid-haul destinations, such as Jordan, Egypt, Bulgaria and Turkey. These places are exotic and it appears our customers are investing a little more time and creativity into their one main holiday." says Noble.
Customers looking to invest some time and spirit into their next excellent adventure should consider:
A seven-night city break in Amman, Jordan, from just £586pp including flights from London Heathrow and accommodation in a three-star hotel
Flights to Abu Dhabi start from just £313pp for return flights from London Heathrow
A photography walking tour in Cairo, Egypt, from £78pp, including the city's three enduring ramparts, the medieval covered market and various mosques
Return flights to Lima, Peru, from just £567pp departing from London Heathrow
Stay at the four-star Romance spa in Varna, Bulgaria, from just £60 per night
To book or to find out more simply visit www.opodo.co.uk or call 0871 277 0090
* Opodo.co.uk compared flight bookings from Jan-Aug 2007 and Jan-Aug 2008 and all percentages quoted represent the rise of year-on-year bookings
Opodo was created in 2001 by nine of Europe's leading airlines - Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa. Amadeus, the travel technology company took a controlling interest in the company in June 2004. Opodo addresses the real needs of today's traveller by offering an unbiased and competitively priced online travel service for world travel. Customers can enjoy excellent offers from 500 airlines, 65,000 hotel properties, car hire, city breaks, lifestyle holidays, ski deals, tailor made and dynamically packaged holidays, comprehensive travel insurance and value added services such as airport parking.