RISING SUN A RISING STAR
For years, Bali has been the No.1 overseas holiday spot for Aussies over the peak summer holiday period, but this year, another destination is fast emerging as a favourite for Australian travellers – Japan.
The top 10 most popular summer holiday spots for Australian travellers has remained relatively stable in recent years, with Bali leading the pack among international destinations, followed by Bangkok and Singapore.
However, 2017 has seen Tokyo push Singapore out of its top-three position, according to a forecast by travel booking site Agoda. Tokyo first appeared in Agoda’s top 10 summer destinations for Australian travellers last year, ranking No.8, and this year has seen its popularity skyrocket.
Although Bali remains at No.1, for now – despite weeks of uncertainty amid volcanic activity and subsequent eruption leading to flight cancellations – analysts predict the huge growth in Japan interest could soon see it rival the Indonesian island.
Spurred on by more cheap flights and connections, Australians are flocking to the country, says Andrew Mulholland, Wendy Wu Tours managing director for Australia and New Zealand. “We’ve seen huge growth in Japan bookings in 2017, of over 55 per cent,” Mulholland says. Visitor numbers are tipped to grow even more in coming years, he says, with Japan set to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
And travel search site KAYAK has recorded a spike of 33 per cent in searches for Tokyo, making it one of the fastest-growing destinations among Australians, and the most popular holiday spot after Bali.
Melbourne Airport’s Virgin terminal