According to an international survey carried out by Booking.com, travellers in 2017 are hungry for new travel experiences, taking them off the beaten track and away from well-known destinations.
To satisfy adventurous appetites, the accommodation reservation platform has used traveller recommendation data to draw up a list of lesser-known destinations for culture vultures to discover this year.
The study, which polled 34 000 travellers in 17 countries, found that 66% of respondents were looking for new travel experiences in 2017. The site recommends getting adventurous with trips to destinations that are less well-known on the global travel scene, overshadowed by famous hotspots like Paris, London and Rome. In fact, an alternative destination in Italy comes top of Booking's list. In a land with a strong musical tradition, Recanati, in the Province of Macerata, is a small town on the Adriatic coast with almost 22,000 residents which is a historical center of accordion making.
Also in Europe, the hotel reservation site suggests intrepid travellers with a taste for culture head to Viljandi in Estonia or Vézelay in France.
Destinations further off the beaten track include the Indian city of Jaisalmer, in second place. Located on the border with Pakistan, this fortified city is gaining interest among travellers and appeals to the curiosity of amateur historians thanks to its strategic location at a crossroads between India, Persia and the West. Another historical hotspot on the list is Borobudur, a Buddhist monument on the Indonesian island of Java. Built around 800 C.E., this lesser-known site is sure to please culturally-minded travellers looking for an alternative to Bali.
Barichara in Colombia also makes the list, at a time when the country is gaining ground as an upcoming destination for 2017 in all kinds of travel rankings.
Booking.com's top culture destinations for travellers looking to head off the beaten track:
1. Recanati, Italy
2. Jaisalmer, India
3. Viljandi, Estonia
4. Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
5. Borobudur, Indonesia
6. Uluru, Australia
7. Barichara, Colombia
8. Vézelay, France
9. Flores, Guatemala