2015 saw a return of consumer confidence for the travel industry. Growth was led by more affluent holidaymakers, but market trends also point to a real desire for value for money and to absolutely maximise the holiday experience by combining it with special events, shows and destination specific experiences.
While the traditional package holiday remained popular, holidaymakers in 2015 showed an increased appetite for something new, with over a third stating at the start of the year that they intended to visit somewhere they had never previously been.
Many travellers wandered off the beaten track in search of more authentic experiences, while in 2015 the city break overtook the beach holiday in terms of the most popular format.
Here you can check out our guide to the top travel destinations for the best travel for 2015.
Top Countries Visited in 2015
Greece has certainly felt the pinch of the considerable economic difficulties that the country has been experiencing since 2009. Nevertheless, those sublime beaches, which made it the King of the package holiday in the 1980s, continue to draw the tourists in, as does its historic and cultural standing as the birthplace of democracy.
With its vibrant Istanbul spice markets, year round sunny climate and glorious beaches, it is hardly surprising that Turkey also continued to pull in holiday makers throughout 2015.
Known for its isolation, geographic diversity and awesome landscapes, New Zealand has always been something of a favourite, particularly amongst backpackers. In recent years, the filming of the Lord of the Rings series has only amplified this and New Zealand looks set to be another top pick in 2016.
The vast country of Canada, with its aromatic pine forests and welcoming, friendly people has always been a very popular travel destination. 2015 saw both the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Pan-American Games hosted in the country, which further boosted tourism.
Far flung Destinations
2015 also witnessed the continued rise of what many would have once considered to be unlikely candidates for top travel destinations.
Among these was Ethiopia. The Ebola crisis had had a negative impact on tourism in West Africa but East African countries like Ethiopia, with its dramatic landscapes embodied by the Simien Mountains National Park, was strongly praised by the non-profit association of EU tourism organisations for its “excellent preservation of humanity landmarks”.
Other far out destinations include Chile, where you can trek to the end of the world in Patagonia or visit the amazing Atacama Desert where it is known to snow!
Uruguay, Iran, or a little closer to home, Bosnia-Herzegovina, are also destinations well worth looking into.
In terms of popular family destinations, the Algarve in Portugal, with its gorgeous beaches and family orientated entertainments to delight the kids, such as Aqualand which remains a firm favourite.
Other family favourites in 2015 include Menorca and Barcelona in Spain and Brittany in France.
For families looking at more of an educative trip with the kids, with a bit of animal fun thrown in, the following proved to be big hits in 2015.
The amazing Yellowstone National Park in the US state of Wyoming now offers a Junior Rangers Program to give the kids maximum exposure to the rich wildlife.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, with its lions, hippos and elephants; Monkey Rescue in Pretoria, South Africa and Walkabout Wildlife Park in New South Wales, Australia, were also a big hit with families.
For those with a firm eye on the budget, Talin in Estonia proved a hugely popular city break and a welcome relief for those travelling in the region from the extremely high prices in the neighbouring Nordic countries.
2015 saw some fantastic deals to be had on holidays to East Africa with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all proving to be top picks.
If our list has given you some inspiration for 2016, start your adventure today!