Friday, April 19, 2024

‘Destination Dupes’: The Cities to Visit if You Want a Postcard-Perfect Holiday, Without the $$$ Price tag!

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If you’re planning a holiday and want to really get some bang for your buck, it might be worth looking up a few Destination Dupes. They’re the new trend – cities that can give you a very similar experience to the ones you’ll often see popping up on Insta – but for a fraction of the cost.

Expedia has released its annual travel trends report, filled to the brim with interesting data all about our travel habits.

From Tour Tourism (Eras Tour, anyone?) to AI-driven itineraries, Unpack ’24 is revealing what’s motivating tourists, where we’re dreaming of, and how we’re travelling.

One of the most interesting insights we found in the report, though, is the idea of finding new places to travel to. While you may dream of a trip to Santorini or London, sometimes the cost can be … a little too much.

Enter: Destination Dupes.

The idea was inspired by the rise of “dupe culture” on TikTok, where people recommend cheaper alternatives for hyped-up products.

The destination dupes on the list are cities that may be a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable, and every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true destinations travellers love.

Travellers focus on destinations,” Expedia Australia’s Managing Director, Daniel Finch, told 9Honey Travel.

“The dupes is all about travellers that are wanting to have a certain experience. But they’re finding other destinations that offer almost the same but are far more affordable, have fewer crowds, and also generally you get a little bit more of an authentic cultural experience in these duped destinations as well.”

“So you’re not battling crowds in the streets, but also accommodation availability is better as well.”

Cities listed on the destination dupes list all experienced a notable uptick in searches on Expedia over the past year. In fact, global searches for the top five destinations on the list more than doubled in the past year.

The number one city on the list is Taipei, which Expedia labels an excellent “dupe” for Seoul.

Known for its nightlife, foodie culture and modern city, the Korean capital city has become incredibly popular with Aussies in the last few years – as such, it’s a very expensive place to visit.

“Taipei’s a really good substitute for [Seoul],” says Finch. “It’s more affordable. You’re battling fewer crowds and you’ll get better availability and pricing for accommodation.

“And because you’re getting fewer crowds, you’re having that greater local authentic cultural experience as well, with fewer tourists there.”

Finch says Expedia’s travel searches for Taipei have gone up almost 3,000 per cent: “Cost is a really significant factor.”

“You’re getting an equal experience, but significant savings.”

The second and third cities on the dupe list are Pattaya (dupe for Bangkok) and Paros (dupe for Santorini).

Finch says that due to the cost of living crisis, travellers are looking for places where they can still have a little sophistication, maybe stay in five-star accomodation, but do so for a lower price.

A survey found that despite financial pressures, more than half of Australians are planning to travel just as much, if not more, than they did last year.

“We’re still seeing this as a residual after-effect from COVID, where people still have that pent-up eagerness to travel,” explains Finch of the statistics.

He also notes that many people may have missed out on celebrating special moments like their 30th or 50th birthday, while in lockdown, and are still catching up on travelling for those now that restrictions have lifted.

The full list of destination dupes, according to Expedia data is:

• Taipei (dupe for Seoul)

• Pattaya (dupe for Bangkok)

• Paros (dupe for Santorini)

• Curaçao (dupe for St. Martin)

• Perth (dupe for Sydney)

• Liverpool (dupe for London)

• Palermo (dupe for Lisbon)

• Quebec City (dupe for Geneva)

• Sapporo (dupe for Zermatt)

• Memphis (dupe for Nashville)

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