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Young travellers want new experiences over traditional sightseeing, says Contiki

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Young people would rather explore new and alternative destinations than traditional holiday hotspots, according to Contiki.

The poll, of 2,000 18-35 year olds, found that 67% chose discovering new places as the top thing to do when they go on holiday, whilst 44% would like to experience multiple places on one trip.

Activity-wise, 45% of 18-25 year olds like to explore during the day and go out at night, whilst just over half want to chill out whilst on holiday.

The survey also found that 39% are keen to immerse themselves in the local culture, and 44% want to try the local food.

In terms of destinations, one in five base their holiday around a music event or festival, one in ten enjoy nothing better than hitting the slopes to go skiing or snowboarding, and 20% would like to spend their holidays on the water.

With 37% of young travellers saying that they are looking for alternative destinations, it appears that the traditional sites could soon be replaced with alternative and exciting experiences that young travellers have placed more importance on.

To back this up, the survey found that 79% couldn’t name the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. These are the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Mount Everest, Aurora, Victoria Falls and the Paricutin Volcano in Mexico.

In light of this, the travel company has unveiled its Alternative Wonders of the World – eight destinations that better reflect what young travellers really want to experience.

Contiki’s eight Alternative Wonders of the World are Cinque Terre in Italy, Australia’s Fraser Island, Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Whistler in Canada, Rio de Janeiro, Santorini in Greece and New Zealand’s Rotorua.

Flick through our gallery below to see them up close...

Contiki has launched eight new travel styles, which recognise that no two travellers are the same: Discovery Plus, High Energy, Easy Pace, In-Depth Explorer, Freestyle Camping, Sailing and Cruise, Festivals and Short Stays and Winter and Ski. For more information visit

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