Planning for a vacation? Visit Columbia this time, we say. The South American country is seeing a major surge in interest as a travel destination for 2017 and is all set to climb out from the shadow of its more high-profile neighbours Brazil and Peru.
Price comparison site Kayak.com is the latest to show the country’s increasing popularity: On their list of trending destinations for 2017, two Colombian cities — Cartagena and Medellin — cracked the top 10 list.
The ranking is made up of flight destinations that saw the biggest year-over-year increase in searches.
Cartagena, which landed sixth on the list, saw a 31 percent spike in activity and also topped the list of wallet-friendly flights. Searches for Medellin rose 28 percent.
Last year, Cartagena was also spotlighted by editors at National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the best 21 destinations to visit in 2017.
If you’ve already been to Cartagena and bought the T-shirt for Medellin, experts at Booking.com recommend a third Colombian city for travellers to put on their 2017 to-visit list: Barichara.
Colombia’s rising popularity is expected to shift some of the spotlight away from neighbouring Brazil — which has always enjoyed popularity among travellers — and Peru, which has been enjoying a surge of interest in recent years thanks to its trending gastronomic landscape.
When it comes to beach holidays, snowbirds also seem to be expanding their horizons and setting their sights on Asia, as half of the top 10 trending beach destinations are all newcomers that hail from the far and South East: Phuket, Bali, Colombo, Maldives and Okinawa.
Meanwhile, here are the destinations that saw the biggest increase in flight searches this year over last on Kayak:
1. Havana, Cuba
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
3. Auckland, New Zealand
4. Bali, Indonesia
5. Tokyo, Japan
6. Cartagena, Colombia
7. Lisbon, Portugal
8. Medellin, Colombia
9. Calgary, Canada
10. Sydney, Australia