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Sri Lanka named as the dream destination for 2019 by Hostelworld


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The stereotype of British youth abroad often encompasses rowdy, outrageous, and drunken partying. You only have to watch one of the many TV programmes documenting Brits abroad or simply view the Inbetweeners movie to see how much this stereotype permeates our culture.

However, emerging trends flip this stereotype on its head as Sri Lanka is named the dream destination by Hostelworld. This follows growing evidence revealed by Hostelworld that young British people are increasingly prioritising unique cultural experiences and travelling farther across the world.

Image credit: amanjahemal on Pixabay

Unlike many other Southeast Asian destinations, Sri Lanka is yet to be overrun by tourists. This means that you can explore the gorgeous beaches, scuba-dive in abundant reefs, take a safari, or wander the rainbow-coloured temples, all without having to navigate through crowds of tourists. Sri Lankan culture remains largely untouched by tourism - a true cultural experience for whoever chooses to visit.

Statistics revealed by Hostelworld show that there has been a 64% increase in bookings to Sri Lanka between 2017 and 2018. Accompanying Sri Lanka in the top spots are Turkey, with a 54% increase, and Israel, with a 40% increase.

Additional research by Hostelworld reveals that approximately one-quarter of booking Brits prioritise cultural experiences compared to 3% favouring partying and 7% favouring tanning.

"Even when [British youth are] heading to conventional holiday destinations such as Turkey, they’re opting for culturally rich city escapes, rather than staying in typical tourist resorts. In the past year alone, we’ve seen bookings made by Brits to hostels in Istanbul increase by 44%,” remarks Catriona Flood, Director of Strategy and Planning at Hostelworld.

Flood attributes these trends to the availability of technology “to change plans last-minute and explore the world with the people we meet along the way. It enables people to research destinations they hear about and book somewhere to stay in a matter of minutes. Having reliable information at the tips of their fingers gives people confidence to explore further afield.” 

Contrary to the stereotype of Brits abroad – of sexual nicknames written across group t-shirts, of chants yelled in planes flying to party-destinations – young people are expanding their horizons and experiencing new cultures across the world. Instead of remaining behind the walls of resorts, more and more people are diving head-first into brand-new experiences. As technology increasingly allows easy travel and instant global communication, British youth are creating global networks of friends and building up a repertoire of cultural knowledge.

These growing trends demonstrate a growing global awareness among today’s youth, as well as the increasing interconnectedness of our world.

Read our travel guide to Sri Lanka here.

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