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Trending destinations for travel-starved in APAC revealed by Tripadvisor

Travellers favouring outdoor destinations and dreaming of worldwide travel. Bali, Indonesia rated world’s #1 most popular destination.

SINGAPORE – Tripadvisor released its annual Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Destinations, highlighting Popular, Trending, and Emerging Destinations around the world, as well as a new category for 2021: National Parks. The awards are based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and things to do in destinations worldwide on Tripadvisor over a 12-month period. 

The awards reveal where travellers ventured in 2020, while travel was still open, as well as where they dreamed of going while the pandemic kept them stuck at home. With travel restrictions in place for much of the year, travellers explored the world very differently – they took more local trips closer to home and favoured outdoor spots, away from crowded cities. According to a recent survey of Tripadvisor travellers, more than half (52%) say they are more likely to take an outdoor or nature trip than they were before the pandemic1. As a result, many of the Asia-Pacific destinations featured on the Travellers’ Choice Trending Destinations for 2021 were outdoor destinations. Sanya, China, known for its picturesque beach resorts is ranked number four on the global Trending Destinations for 2021 while Queenstown, New Zealand has made the list at number six. On the global stage, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is the number one Trending Destination, seeing the biggest spike in top reviews and ratings last year.

While COVID-19 kept travellers from exploring too far from home for the large part of last year, that didn’t stop them from raving about the trips they did manage to get in. Topping the world’s Travellers’ Choice Popular Destinations list – the iconic, can’t-miss destinations are always at the top of travellers’ wish lists – is Bali, Indonesia, rising from number four last year to dethrone London. 

“Alongside the latest vaccine developments, pent-up demand is prompting the world to think more about travel in 2021,” said Christine Maguire, vice president and general manager, global media business at Tripadvisor. “But one result of the pandemic may be the destinations they’re interested in. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 74% of travellers will spend more time selecting a destination when planning their next trip2. If you’re like me and already imagining your first post-vaccine vacation, this list of travellers’ favorite destinations can serve as your inspiration.” 

Top 10 Popular Destinations in the World
Popular Destinations include the locations that travellers raved about most on Tripadvisor in the past year, comprising iconic world cities.

  • Bali, Indonesia
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Rome, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Crete, Greece
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Istanbul, Turkey

Top 10 Trending Destinations in the World
Trending Destinations recognize destinations that saw the biggest increase in a combination of positive ratings and reviews over the last year.

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Corsica, France
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Sanya, China
  • Gatlinburg, Tenn., United States
  • Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Tulum, Mexico
  • Natal, Brazil
  • Kas, Turkey
  • Guadeloupe, Carribean

Top 10 Emerging Destinations in the World
Emerging Destinations showcase the spots with the greatest year-over-year increase in “saves” on Tripadvisor around the world. Different from the other categories, which highlight where travellers have already visited, the Emerging list identifies where they want to visit. These are the destinations travellers were dreaming of while they were stuck at home all year — and where they may go next.

  • Martinique, Carribean
  • Panama City Beach, Fla., United States
  • Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil
  • Holbox Island, Mexico
  • St Ives, United Kingdom 
  • Mazatlan, Mexico
  • Colorado Springs, Colo., United States
  • Shoalhaven, Australia
  • Wroclaw, Poland
  • Mudgee, Australia

Top 10 National Parks in the World
When indoor activities shuttered in 2020, travellers headed to the great outdoors. Here are their favorite National Parks around the world.

  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • Jim Corbett National Park, India
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., United States
  • Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., United States
  • Zion National Park, Utah, United States
  • Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  • Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
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