If you think airports are becoming increasingly crowded, it’s not your imagination.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, over 27,000 of us take to the skies every day. That’s 10-million travellers per year.
Australians love to travel. It’s as if adventure and curiosity are part of our DNA. When a new and exciting destination comes to our attention, we don’t need much convincing to pack up and go.
But does the way we go about researching holidays a destination influence where we choose to go? And what impact does TV, cinema and social media have in our decision making process when deciding where to spend our next holiday?
Trends and fads come and go, sometimes fading as quickly as they rose. Remember Gangnam Style?
Travel too has its trends, and often a destination can ride a wave of popularity before stabilising. Still, the destinations that trend today, are rarely shunned in the future, especially if we find value in the experience.
Using Andy Warhol’s logic that “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” it could aptly be applied to travel – only it would be, “every PLACE will have its day in the spotlight.”
Social media has a way of turning a sleepy, undiscovered locale, into a global sensation, sometimes overnight.
Thanks to the instant pleasure that comes with Instagram and Facebook photos, we can be transported to places around the world, right from our lounge room armchair.
Of course, the down side of seeing all those holiday pics from friends and family, is that it makes us want to go! The travel bucket list seems to grow all the time.
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The acronym FOMO (fear of missing out) is a byproduct of the social media age. It’s only natural to feel a bit envious when our friends and family post photos of their exciting travels.
Few things have the power to put a pin on the map and influence our travel decisions quite like TV and the movies. It’s as simple as taking the right story, matched with the perfect location, and voila! A star is born.
Croatia makes for a great example – once only on the intrepid traveller’s list, the ancient old city walls were thrust into the spotlight thanks to a little show called Game of Thrones.
Downton Abbey was filmed in a relatively unknown castle in the UK, until the smash-hit series thrust Highclere Castle into the spotlight, instantly becoming one of the UKs hottest tourist attractions.
Kotor Bay in the tiny European country of Montenegro, where James Bond took on a terrorist financier at a poker game in the casino by the bay, saw a huge increase in tourist numbers thanks to the Bond film Casino Royale. Never mind that many of the scenes were actually filmed in the Czech Republic.
My personal bucket-list includes Petra, in Jordan, thanks to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
And you may not have heard of Skellig Michael, a small island 12-kilometres off the coastline of County Kerry, Ireland, but I can almost assure you that you’ve seen it on the silver screen.
Host to a 1400-year-old monastery, tourists are now flocking to this rocky outcrop since the last two mega-box-office Star Wars hits were filmed here (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi). It is on this island that Luke Skywalker went into self-imposed exile.
Don’t think for a minute that Europe no longer has secrets to reveal though. In the past twenty or so years, thanks to the dropping of the iron curtain, eastern European nations are once again open for business. These Eastern European countries are rapidly stealing the limelight from their western European neighbours.
Picturesque nations such as Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and south to Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic and Albania, are all vying for the tourist dollar with their old-world charms, and often not as bustling tourist centres.
As the adage goes “What is old, is new again.” And, as it turns out, what we want from travel has never really changed – a glimpse into another world which we’ve never experienced.
Travel has been part of the human experience for thousands of years. And while fads come and go, there’s no doubt, that travel itself will forever captivate our imagination.
YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE