These are the long-haul alternative holiday destinations tipped to be big this year

Posted by
Megan Murray

Beautiful, and well off the beaten track. 

There’s nothing that gets us excited for summer like a tip off on some of the coolest alternative travel destinations.

Don’t get us wrong, cosmopolitan capitals like Paris and Rome will always have a place in our hearts, but there’s something super thrilling about being the first of your friends to find a new holiday hot spot.

Well, it looks like Hostelworld has heard our prayers, and has done some digging on which off-the-beaten-track destinations have been getting more attention recently, looking at which remote towns and cities across the globe have seen a rise in British tourism.

Looking at the difference between 2017 bookings and 2018 bookings, the site has seen growth in some cases as much as 2016%, giving a strong indicator at which places are due to be the next big thing in travel.

Coming in at the top is Coron in the Philippines, a breathtakingly beautiful island surrounded by turquoise waters, with impossibly white, sandy beaches. Although tourists usually head for the nearby, similarly paradisiac, Boracay, due to a six-month restoration last year, Coron stepped into the limelight. 

In second place is Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia, with a 261% increase. Although Southeast Asia has long been a backpacker go-to, the growing desire for lesser-known spots indicates that travellers are looking beyond the default options such as Phuket, Hoi An and Koh Samui. Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful island located southeast of Bali and is part of a group of three islands that make up the Nusa Penida district, of which it is the most well-known.

Ella in Shri Lanka has also seen a surge of popularity, with a 246% increase. Unlike the other two The Beach-like destinations, Ella is a small, laid-back town surrounded by lush greenery. There’s loads to do there, including walking along the rails of the Nine Arch Bridge, which is stunning. 

Not enough wanderlust inspiration for you? Well, check out the incredible full list below of the 20 biggest risers in alternative travel and we reckon you’ll find something perfect for your summer holidays. 

1. Coron - Philippines

2. Nusa Lembongan - Indonesia

3. Ella - Sri Lanka

4. Holbox - Mexico

5. Panglao - Philippines

6. St. Julian’s - Malta

7. El Nido - Philippines

8. Canggu - Indonesia

9. Kaikoura - New Zealand

10. Uluwatu - Indonesia

11. Mirissa - Sri Lanka

12. Ninh Binh - Vietnam

13. Tbilisi - Georgia

14. Valladolid - Spain

15. Koh Rong Island - Cambodia

16. Verona - Italy

17. Kiev - Ukraine

18. Cameron Highlands - Malaysia

19. Istanbul - Turkey

20. Caye Caulker - Belize

Images: Getty Images 


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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