Victoria Falls and Bridge

Zimbabwe top emerging destination

Source: Byron Shirto
Talking Stick Marketing and PR Communications
Friday, 24 June 2011

The country, which has suffered from years of political repression, took first place after seeing a 696.3% increase in spend by British holidaymakers on their Visa cards, from £1.2m in 2009 to £9.7m in 2010.

Second place went to Pakistan, where holidaymakers’ spending rose from £2.3m in 2009 by 358.2% to £10.6m.

Meanwhile, Andorra was flying the flag for Europe in third place following a 120.9% increase from £2.4m to £5.3m.

Gambia and Nigeria were fourth and fifth respectively while Sri Lanka came ninth and Morocco tenth.

Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent and independent adviser to Visa Europe, said: ‘The top ten ‘emerging destinations’ give a fascinating insight into our changing travel habits.

‘Tiny Andorra has seen a surge in visitors’ spending of 120%, year on year, as it lures back the skiing business – and welcomes summer visitors who have discovered the great outdoors of this mountain hideaway.

‘The other highlights for me: Sri Lanka benefiting from a cricket ‘bounce’, a surge of interest in Morocco, and – at last – the discovery of Uruguay as the unsung gem of South America.’

Tony Gibbons, head of debit at Visa Europe, added: ‘Holidaymakers are seeking to be increasingly smart with their holiday finances and these spending trends highlight this – however, it is important for holidaymakers to keep in this frame of mind whilst away too.

‘Card payments, particularly with debit cards, are now increasingly being used by consumers as a secure and convenient way to pay while abroad.’