Flight Centre has released the top three travel destinations Australians will be visiting next year and the results might surprise you.
While Australians have historically flocked to Western Europe, South-East Asia and the US for holidays, we are all headed to a more unlikely travel region next year, the Middle East.
Escape associate editor Rowena Ryan talked to Your Money Live about the region’s top three must-see hot spots.
United Arab Emirates
As airlines like Emirates and Etihad continue to ferry Australians through flight hubs, it’s perhaps no surprise that tourists are stepping outside the airport to explore locations like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“There’s a really great Arabic culture,” Ryan said. “It’s very glitzy, glamorous and its a very interesting place to visit for a couple of days.”
“Abu Dhabi has just opened a brand new Louvre museum, it’s the first one in the world outside of Paris [and] they have an amazing mosque there which is probably their most famous monument.”
However, while both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both worth a visit, Ryan advised that you don’t spend weeks there.
“I think 24 to 48 hours is perfect there.”
Despite a torrid few years in Turkey that have scared tourists away, there’s been a 50 per cent increase in bookings this year as international travellers return to the country.
Straddled between Europe and Asia, there’s plenty on offer, Ryan said.
“You can get some cheap cruises on the Bosphorus, they’ve got the Blue Mosque there which has some great architecture, and the great news is it’s quite cheap for Aussie travellers as well.”
Similarly, Egypt is coming back into favour with tourists as well after the Arab Spring of 2011.
“I was there recently and you can feel the buzz in the air now, its definitely on its way back,” Ryan said.
“Obviously, the big drawcard there are the Pyramids of Giza, they’re just about to open a brand new museum there, the Egyptian Museum, which is enormous,” she added.
And while Australians may be concerned about their safety in some of these locations given their recent tumultuous histories, Ryan said to check the SmartTraveller website to get the latest security updates.
“The government there has invested heavily in security so the tourists there see police everywhere,” she said.
Watch the full interview with Rowena Ryan above.