The best holiday destinations in the world

17/06/2015 By Jon Young

17 June 2015

Tourists from around the globe have scored Austria and Italy jointly as the favourite destinations in the world in 2015. Both achieve a Net Promoter Scores of +54 based on the personal experience of international visitors to those countries in the past year.

This news comes from the Global Tourism Monitor. In its second year of tracking, the Global Tourism Monitor has surveyed around 17,000 holidaymakers in 24 countries worldwide with the aim of benchmarking 111 holiday destinations.  The study measures the appeal of destinations for both short breaks and longer holidays based on the recommendation ratings of international visitors.

Austria maintains its 2014 position as the world’s favourite European destination (by net promoter score), and is now the holiday destination people are most likely to recommend in the world along with Italy in 2015.

The UK narrowly misses being in the top 10, but still performs above average for both short breaks and longer holidays, with Empty Nesters driving the higher scores.

The destination which has made the most improvement is Tunisia, which achieves an impressive climb from bottom of the league last year to a positive Net Promoter Score of +26 in 2015. Political unrest in Ukraine has caused it to lose appeal as a holiday destination and it now finds itself at the bottom of the league.

Planning the next holiday

Europeans are planning their next holiday around sunshine and good food with Spain, Italy and France being the top destinations considered. In the Americas, the USA, Caribbean and UK are top of mind for a next international holiday and in Asia the focus is on Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

The Global Tourism Monitor also asks holiday-makers why they are considering visiting a specific destination. Reflecting the experience economy, 70% of the world’s holiday takers are motivated by activities or experiences, such as the local culture or learning something new. Activities & experiences are particularly strong among the younger and family markets and those from the AsPac region.

However, there are markets like the UK and Italy for which the pull of the main tourist sites remains a top reason for visiting.

Staycations remain strong

Driven by short breaks of 1-3 nights, the staycation market has remained strong, with Thailand and Mexico being the most popular markets for a domestic holiday. The motivations for a staycation tend to be different to those driving international holidays. There is a much stronger emphasis on relaxation or experiencing the country’s natural beauty, rather than sightseeing or cultural experiences.

Promoting tourism destinations

The survey also looked at which destinations were most successful at promoting themselves. France, Italy and the USA are the top three destinations which people have heard or seen content promoting them as tourist destinations. Content marketing from articles or features about a destination is the biggest source of awareness, followed closely by recommendations from friends or relatives.

A wealth of information is provided in destination reports which are now available to purchase. Select your destination report here or email for more information.