South America tops young travellers' destination wish list
Offering amazing natural wonders such as the Amazon Rainforest, Patagonia and the Andes, as well as being home to a number of great cities like Rio, Buenos Aires and Bogota, it's no surprise that South America has long been a top destination for overland adventure trips.
But now it seems that the popularity of South American tours could be reaching new highs, with the continent named the place young travellers would like to visit more than anywhere else on Earth.
According to a survey of 18-35-year-olds conducted by the TNT Travel Show 2012, more than 16 per cent said South America would be their ideal destination for their next trip, ahead of the USA on 14.6 per cent and Canada on 6.7 per cent.
"The stars and stripes has often dominated in surveys of younger travellers, but what's clear from our poll is that south is the new north," said Kevin Ellis, chief executive of the TNT Travel Show.
"Backpackers are streaming everywhere from the Amazon to the Andes to grab a bit of the region's awe-inspiring culture, history and scenic showstoppers. It's truly an 'Amazon' outcome to our poll."
Another reason South America scored so highly in the survey could be down to cost, with the price of flights to the continent coming down in recent years, while fares to other destinations have increased.
"In recent months, Flight Centre has seen ticket prices for the region come under the £500 mark. This is really significant in making it an affordable destination," David Forder, head of marketing for Flight Centre told TNT Magazine.
"With prices to North America rising towards £500, the gap between these destinations is closing. Young travellers love the vibrancy of South America and it's now something they can experience without breaking the bank."
But although South America came out on top, a striking feature of the poll was the diversity of the answers given by respondents, with countries as varied as Malta, Mauritius, the UAE and Ukraine all getting a mention.