As 2016 sets in, travel enthusiasts around the country have already started setting their eyes on destinations to explore in the new year. Leading travel search engine Skyscanner (www.skyscanner.co.in) has crunched the figures from the past years’ data to reveal the top seven destinations that look most likely to be the go to places for experimental Indian travellers this year.
Among the hottest destinations in the world for Indian travellers, Savannakhet in Laos, Trang in Thailand and St Petersburg in Russia figure in the top seven emerging destinations.
Commenting on the findings, Ravish Doctor, manager, growth strategy at Skyscanner India said, "With a significant growth in outbound travel to less explored cities, it appears that Indians are keen to make the transition from a wide-eyed tourist to a more receptive traveller. Based on our data, Indian travellers are eyeing for roads less travelled in countries that have been traditional destination magnets. For 2016, while Tropical Asia continues to be a favourite holiday region for Indians, destinations which are extremely rich in culture, traditions and history such as Russia is coming to the fore."
The Mystical Land, Thailand
It hardly comes as surprise that Thailand will continue to lure Indian travellers to its shores with Trang, Buri Ram, Ranong and Pai (Mae Hong Son) featuring in the top seven hot spots for 2016.
Undiscovered Trang could compete with Krabi when it comes to beautiful offshore islands, tranquil white-sand beaches and entrancing inland limestone mountains. There are world-class dive sites, national parks, waterside caves and friendly villages. Buri Ram, the city of sandstone sanctuaries, where the Ancient Khmer ruins are commonplace. The most impressive being Phanom Rung, which is one of the best preserved Khmer temple complexes in Southeast Asia.
Ranong, known for its mangrove forests and bubbling hot springs, also boasts some sensational street food and local traditions, which will keep travellers wanting for more. On the other hand, Pai (Mae Hong Son), a town with a strong Burmese influence, is well-known among backpackers for its laid back atmosphere. Home to several waterfalls and a natural hot springs, Pai lies at the foot of the mountains, where tourists use it as a base for trekking.
Land of a Million Elephants, Laos
With a significant growth of 934 per cent, Savannakhet, Laos, is the fastest emerging destination that Indians are looking to explore in 2016. Laos boasts picturesque backwaters and combines some of the best elements offered by Southeast Asia in one bite-sized destination. Moreover, Savannakhet’s pristine environment against the snaking Mekong River, is home to a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures where the Lao people are wonderfully welcoming hosts.
The perfect blend of historic and contemporary, Russia
Culture vulture Russia never fails to entertain travellers in search of inspiration from great artists and writers or adventure addicts looking for new horizons to conquer.
Located on the Yenisei River, Krasnoyarsk is one of the hottest tourist tickets for Indian travellers in 2016. Known for its nature and often referred to as the most beautiful city in Siberia, Krasnoyarsk offers many hiking opportunities in the nearby forests, many of which offer nice viewpoints. On the other hand, St Petersburg, Russia’s imperial Capital, is a dazzling metropolis whose sheer grandeur never fails to amaze. City of the Tsars, St Petersburg is a treasure trove of art and culture, home to perhaps the best collection of Russian art in the world.