While Paris and London will continue to be perennial favourites, Asian travellers are increasingly booking travel to smaller European destinations such as Hallstatt, Austria, a Unesco World Heritage Site that was the fastest growing European destination in 2015.
That’s according to online accommodation site Agoda, which compiled a list of the fastest-growing European destinations for Asian tourists based the number of hotel bookings made by Agoda travellers in Asia in 2014 and 2015.
Last year, bookings to Hallstatt doubled compared to 2014. It’s not hard to see why the picturesque salt mine village, set on a shimmering lake in the valley of snow-capped mountains, has captured the fancy of Asian travellers – so much so that the Chinese built a replica of its 16th-century Alpine houses in Guangdong in 2012.
After Hallstatt, Asian travellers were most enchanted by Fussen, Germany, home of the fairytale 19th century Neuschwanstein castle and the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
In fact, castles seem to be a popular draw for Asian tourists, notes Agoda, as the 5th, 6th and 7th destinations, Cesky Krumlov, Heidelberg and Salzburg, are also home to castles.
Here are the fastest-growing European destinations for Asian travellers according to Agoda:
1. Hallstatt, Austria
2. Fussen, Germany
3. Glasgow, Britain
4. Oxford, Britain
5. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
6. Heidelberg, Germany
7. Salzburg, Austria
8. Avignon, France
9. Grindelwald, Switzerland
10. Interlaken, Switzerland – AFP Relaxnews