Young people urged to be part of tourism sector

Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has called on young people interested in the tourism sector to approach her department for more information and for assistance in establishing their own businesses.

Addressing the local community of Mabopane, north of Tshwane, on the first day of National Imbizo Fortnight of Activism, Thabethe said tourism plays a crucial role in job creation.

“South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. People all over the world want to come to South Africa for many reasons. During the World Cup, we showed the world who we are and people loved our country,” Thabethe said on Monday.

Thabethe encouraged the community, some of whom exhibited their artwork at the imbizo, to promote tourism wherever they are.

“In tourism, we always want to get people to visit South Africa. People love our country, they love our wines and they love our food,” she said.

Thabethe called on young people to come up with programmes that speak to other young people in terms of job creation.

She said government cares about young people. “As government, we listen. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and encourage other young people to get involved in the tourism sector.”

Thabethe expressed concern about young people, who go to tertiary institutions or universities, to study in courses where there are few job opportunities.

“Our country needs young people who have the relevant, scarce skills. Chefs are scarce and the department is always willing to assist young people who want to venture into tourism or to become chefs,” the Deputy Minister said.

Among those who attended the imbizo were people who wanted to start their businesses in the tourism sector.

One of them is Pule Maotshe, who matriculated five years ago and cannot secure a job. He told SAnews that he came to the imbizo to get more information about the tourism industry.

“I want to open a bed and breakfast establishment in my area. I want to get more information from the department on how to go about starting my own business and how they can assist me,” Maotshe said.

Another local, Thato Moedi, said she has always been interested in becoming a chef but did not know where to go for training.

“I’m happy that the Deputy Minister is here today and she has been talking about helping young people who are interested in becoming chefs,” Moedi said.

National Imbizo Fortnight of Activism seeks to encourage communities to participate in government programmes and initiatives in an effort to build inclusive and socially cohesive societies. –




Why the growing tourism industry needs international qualifications

In order for it to meet demands, the tourism industry needs learners with international qualifications.

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last few years centered around tighter regulations on travel and tourism, as well as immigration; with topics such as Brexit being the buzzword for the past year. Some conclusions have arguably been overstated, others, possibly not; nevertheless, the international tourism industry is still thriving.

It has to be said, the tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, but not only that, it is still growing. In fact, the World Tourism Organization reported that in 2017, international tourist arrivals were the highest they had been in over seven years; with emerging markets producing stronger numbers than previously shown. However, it’s not just the stats that show this growth.

The growth in the tourism industry can be seen in the number of sub-categories and packages that have been created from tourism. Packages such as weekend getaways or beach holidays are not the end-all and be-all but with better routes and more accessibility to the traveller; niche and catered packages are clearly visible.

Packages such as gastro-tourism, adventure tourism, religious tourism and others are readily available to travellers who are looking for a different experience. But, how does this growth relate with international qualifications? The growth that the tourism industry is experiencing needs to be matched with staff who understand the infrastructure of various tourism markets. The interconnectivity of the tourism isn’t just impacting travellers but it’s also impacting how staff must engage with the market.

Let’s use an example of B, a graduate looking to work as a travel agent: From a customer service point of view, an international qualification in tourism should help B to identify several types of traveller (e.g. a millennial, a couple, a family), the market the traveller is operating in, the basic infrastructure of tourism destinations; popular and emerging. In this way B has the interpersonal skills as well as the knowledge to provide great customer service to the client and offer a package that would best suit them.

The interconnectivity of the tourism isn’t just impacting travellers but it’s also impacting how staff must engage with the market.

Understanding the popular systems and platforms used in the industry, understanding destinations and motivations behind travel in different sectors, as well as emerging trends within the industry are skills that are taught. At CTH we go even further and have made it so that our programmes are adaptable, adaptable in the sense that CTH Approved Centres are encouraged to use relevant sources from the region they teach in. For example, they may use case studies and examples of companies from their region that relate to the industry. In this way, learners get a specialised understanding of the industry where they are studying as well as a holistic one of international tourism.




5 Benefits of ITH International Tourism Programmes

The Tourism industry is booming. From Rio to Rome, tourism numbers have been increasing year on year. In fact, for the seventh straight year the sector has outperformed the global economy! New hotel chains, resorts and restaurants have popped up in locations across the country and globe- bringing dynamic, rewarding new career opportunities. Thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and getting involved? Studying an international tourism programme is your first step to success!

 Here are 5 Benefits of ITH International Tourism Programmes:

  1. Internationally Recognized

Local may be lekker, but not when it comes to global travel ambitions! The tourism industry spans borders, oceans and continents-  a truly international, cosmopolitan affair. Don’t limit yourself to a small corner of it! From the bustling restaurants of New York City to the palm fringed beach resorts of Thailand, our UK-registered ITHSA tourism programmes are valued and recognized internationally. The result? Plenty of opportunities to work abroad in a variety of tourism industries and locations. The world is your oyster!


  1. Professional Associations

The saying goes- you are the company you keep! We take this literally. The ITHSA is associated with professional industry leaders and benefits from relationships with CTH- a leading professional membership and awarding body in the UK. CTH has partnerships with major international employers and academic institutions and this helps us keep industry standards high and courses relevant.

  1. University Recognition

Always wanted degree status? In the eyes of International universities, you’re almost there! The ITHSA’s portfolio of CTH qualifications is considered equivalent to degree-level studies. If you have achieved one of these, you can enter the second or final year of a range of tourism and hospitality degree programmes overseas and convert to a degree. Hello bragging rights!

  1. Flexible Options

Variety is the spice of life when studying an ITH tourism programme! You can study anything from Tourism Management Programmes to Culinary Programmes and Short Courses in VA Earth and Ticketing. There are study options at various levels and academic stages-foundation to postgraduate. Furthermore, you have the option to study full – time or part- time depending on your unique preferences and needs.

  1. Employment Opportunities

With an ITH International Tourism course, you’ll get your foot in the door. CTH has developed great working relationships with a multitude of companies in the tourism and hospitality sector, providing a level of industry endorsement for our programmes that adds value when applying for jobs. With an international reputation, associated hotels and industry brands will be more likely to employ you!


Thinking of studying an International Tourism Programme? ITHSA has a range of Tourism courses perfect for you. Visit for more info:

Radisson Hotel Group expands hotel development in SA

The Radisson Hotel Group has geared itself up for hotel growth in South Africa with a focus on scale in key cities. “As part of our five-year development plan, we have identified key cities for scaled growth, three of which are located in South Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban,” said Andrew Mclachlan, senior vice president, development, sub-Saharan Africa, Radisson Hotel Group during the THINC Africa Conference.

“We plan to develop and operate multiple hotels across our portfolio of brands and market segments within each of these cities, increasing our presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg to at least 10 hotels per city and Durban to at least five hotels. With economic headwinds we have identified opportunities to exploit our vast knowledge and experience in converting unbranded, underperforming hotels or underperforming office or apartment buildings and reposition them to the right brand and market segment within the Radisson Hotel Group brand portfolio.

“In addition, we are not ignoring the smaller cities and larger towns across South Africa where we’ve identified potential to penetrate the market with either our midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or upscale Radisson.”

As part of the company’s recent rebranding to Radisson Hotel Group, a new brand architecture was introduced, leveraging the brand’s equity to drive awareness in the marketplace and increase marketing efficiency across its global portfolio.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, we aim to add 50 hotels, of which 65% of our future hotel supply will come from our newer brands, specifically Radisson, which is positioned in the full-service upscale segment, positioned between Radisson Blu in the upper upscale and Park Inn by Radisson in the upper midscale segments,” said McLachlan. “In addition, we will selectively add a number of key Radisson Collection hotels and grow on the successful opening of RED Radisson in Cape Town in the lifestyle upscale segment of the market.”

With the increased demand in serviced apartments, the Radisson Hotel Groups’ serviced apartment concepts are an extension of the Radisson Blu, Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson brands. These properties offer long-stay guests contemporary design, beautiful living areas and magnetic social spaces.

African hotel footprint growth

In a period of strong growth, the Radisson Hotel Group has doubled its African portfolio within the last four years, and year to date have signed seven more hotel deals and is scheduled to open at least three new hotels across the African continent before year end. This growth has spiked the group’s portfolio in Africa to almost 90 hotels (18,000+ rooms) in operation and under development across 30 countries.

The 2018 W Hospitality Pipeline Report ranked the group’s flagship brand, Radisson Blu, as the leading individual hotel brand with the largest number of hotels under construction in Africa. With 111 hotel brands active in Africa today, Radisson Blu leads the way in Africa with more hotels under development than any other hotel brand.

“Our strategy will reinforce our presence in South Africa as we continue to focus on delivering on our expanding pipeline,” concluded McLachlan.




Is South Africa Ready For The “Smart” Hotel Room?

There’s a race on internationally among big hotel groups to unveil hotels that feature rooms equipped with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can carry out a variety of tasks for guests. This state-of-the-art hotel experience will likely become commonplace globally, but the question is, is South Africa readyfor such a development?

To test the waters, Marriott International has already worked up a version, the IoT Guestroom Lab – powered by Marriott’s Innovation Lab at the company’s corporate headquarters – creates a “smart” hotel room using multiple responsive IoT systems, devices and applications to communicate with one another to serve guests and optimize hotel operations. The technology inside the lab, for instance, allows a user to ask a virtual assistant for a 6:30 a.m. wake-up alarm, start a yoga routine on a full-length mirror, request additional housekeeping services and start the shower at the desired temperature stored in their customer profile – all by voice or app.

Following the three-month-long IoT Guestroom Lab, Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyze feedback. Consumers will start to see elements of the technology in international hotel rooms within the next five years.

The evolving consumer

Already, local consumers have grown accustomed to, and, indeed, expect, new technology to facilitate their relationship with brands, whether that’s via chatbots on websites or apps, or in the ways they experience hotels, such as Keyless entry, Mobile Check in for example. Naturally, these developments are tested on a live market as brands want to ensure that they’re fully functional and integrated with all other systems and channels before going live on their properties.

The benefit to smart hotel room systems is that they can be implemented in both new builds and retro-fitted to existing properties. The playing field is level across the board, although different properties will have different requirements, so each one would select a portfolio of features according to its needs and the needs of the market as well as the end consumer.

Since international visitors are a major driver of business into South Africa’s hospitality sector, it makes sense that this race among hotels to implement smart hotel rooms will have a direct impact on the hospitality experience locally. Local hotels must continue to evolve their guest experience in accordance with changing preferences. Conversely, the South African traveler heading to other countries will encounter smart hotel rooms and not want to return to old-school, static experiences.

There’s a concern that implementation costs may be high, however, since this is a long-term strategy that will likely only unfold after five years. Hotels have time to prepare, especially in terms of allocating budgets. It’s exciting that we’re seeing this happen in our generation – up until recently, the hotel stay experience was fairly predictable, from check-in to check-out. With the rise of digital and mobile, opportunities to enhance this experience have grown exponentially. This, in turn, has driven a competitive spirit among hotel brands to ensure that they’re ahead of the game.

A further indication of evolving customer expectations is that customers are using voice-operated devices such as Alexa in their own homes and are growing used to doing so. In South Africa, the market for this is relatively small, but growing. We’re late adopters, in terms of global technology, but this also has the benefit that we’re not a test market. By the time these kinds of solutions are rolled out, the initial bugs have been addressed, so even if we’re only seeing version 2.0 when these solutions are eventually rolled out, we’re actually catching up with the rest of the world quite quickly.

The race for the smart hotel room must never compromise on guest experience, so ensuring that at all times, the best possible stay experience takes place must be prioritised above flashy technology. As with any element of business strategy, it must be aligned with ROI and efficiency, along with listening to guests to hear what they want and experience.




If you think back to the last holiday you had, what were the highlights that you remember? The spacious hotel room with a view of the sea? The planned excursions while you were away? Or the mouth-watering food served at the fancy restaurant you went to?

There are many people behind the scenes who make things happen so that you can enjoy your holiday, from the travel agent who booked your flights and accommodation, to the housekeeper at the hotel, and the local travel guide who showed you around.

If you’re looking for exciting career opportunities in this line of work, look no further. Here are the top 10 careers in Tourism & Hospitality.



Travel Agents research, plan, and book trips for individuals and groups. Although people are starting to research and book their travel plans online, it’s often easier to use a Travel Agent, as they have years of experience and knowledge. They are able to help with flight bookings, hotel selection, transfer arrangements, and holiday activities.

If you’re considering becoming a Travel Agent, you will need great organisational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to think on your feet.



Hotel Managers oversee all aspects of running a hotel – from housekeeping and general maintenance to budget management and marketing of the hotel. If you’re considering a career as a Hotel Manager, you will need excellent interpersonal skills, experience in the hospitality industry, and a number of years’ experience in managing employees.

You will be responsible for the daily running of the hotel, including recruiting, training and supervising staff; managing budgets; planning maintenance work; dealing with customers’ complaints; overseeing reservations; promoting and marketing the hotel; and ensuring that the hotel complies with health and safety regulations.



Spa Managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of health and/or beauty spas. They manage a spa’s finances, employees, and services. Many of the tasks are business-related and can include recordkeeping, getting involved in promotional campaigns, maintaining stock inventories, and payroll management.

Spa Managers typically create weekly work schedules, oversee general spa maintenance, train new employees, and arrange staff workshops on new treatments. Often, experience in spa management is essential when applying for a position.



A Tour Operator typically combines tour and travel components to create holiday packages. He or she will deal with various service providers, including bus operators, airlines and hoteliers.

Tour Operators prepare itineraries for various destinations and will often monitor trends in popular destinations in order to put together attractive holiday packages for clients. Tour Operators mainly deal with Travel Agents, while Travel Agents deal with the public. Tour Operators will often visit destinations to check whether they should include them in their packages. If you enjoy travelling, this might be the job for you.



Organising any event or conference is time consuming, so an Event and Conference Organiser will help with the finer details of planning an event. The role is hands-on and often involves working as part of a bigger team. Event and Conference Organisers co-ordinate every detail of meetings and conferences, from the speakers and meeting locations to the printed materials and audio-visual equipment.

If you’re interested in becoming an Event and Conference Organiser, you will need to be able to think on your feet, pay attention to detail, deal with clients and suppliers, and work under tight deadlines. You will also have to be willing to work long hours in order to ensure the success of an event.



Tour Guides work in the travel industry, and give guided tours to groups of visitors/tourists. Tour Guides must have expert knowledge of specific areas, including natural features, historic sites, museums, and other tourist destinations. Guides may give walking tours, bus tours, or even boat tours.

If you decide to become a Tour Guide, you will probably get most of your experience on the job. You will need excellent communication skills – and speaking more than one language will definitely benefit you.



If you hear “Executive Chef”, you might think of the local celebrity chef Reuben Riffel, or the renowned UK-based chef Gordon Ramsay. The Executive Chef is in charge of a restaurant’s kitchen, and is responsible for managing the kitchen staff, planning the menu, sourcing the freshest ingredients, and making sure that food hygiene is maintained throughout the restaurant. An Executive Chef must be able to spot problems and resolve them quickly and efficiently.

If you’re passionate about cooking for a crowd and think you might have what it takes, this might be the perfect career for you.



In short, a Wine Sommelier is an expert in wines. A Wine Sommelier is passionate about wine. He or she is a highly trained and knowledgeable wine professional, specialising in all aspects of wine service. Five-star restaurants will often employ a Sommelier to develop their wine list and to help customers find a wine within their budget that suits their tastes and complements their food.

As a Sommelier, your day might not start until 14:00, when you review your inventory, meet with suppliers, and arrange to taste wines. Before the restaurant opens for dinner, you go over the wine list with your staff. Then you work the floor, seeing to customer’s needs. Your day might not end until 01:00 or 02:00 in the morning.



A PR Manager manages a brand’s reputation, and will plan, develop, and implement specific strategies to build and maintain the overall brand and reputation. Often, the PR Manger will also act as the company’s spokesperson. In the Tourism and Hospitality environment, a PR Manager might work for a hotel chain, a cruise company, or a game reserve.

The job will involve writing and syndicating positive press releases about the brand, arranging events at the hotel (including press conferences, exhibitions, open days, and tours) and connecting with relevant influencers in the industry. PR Managers will also have to deal with potential crisis situations. If you’re interested in becoming a PR Manager, you will have to have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.



Leisure Activity Co-ordinators usually work for resorts and hotel chains. They’re the people on the ground who make sure that any planned activities run smoothly. They’re also responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day management of a leisure centre, organising health and fitness programmes, promoting and marketing the business, and interacting with guests. To become a Leisure Activity Co-ordinator, you will need excellent interpersonal skills, as you will spend most of your time interacting with guests.



A pioneering approach to the hospitality industry

The world is on the move and people are travelling more than ever. It is estimated that by 2030, a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international trips, according to a report by the World Tourism Organisation.

Constant transformation

While travel has progressed in leaps and bounds, so have travellers, which means we need to be constantly transforming and enhancing ourselves. This is key to delivering the right mix of services to cater to guests from existing and new emerging market segments.

Over the years the traditional hospitality model has developed into a more multi-faceted approach from the basic amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts and possibly a golf course, to state-of-the-art business and conference centres and health spas that encompass so much more than just a vacation destination. These developments have had a substantial influence on the economic growth of the hospitality industry.

Looking at the industry over the next five years, there are a growing number of new hotels planned for the South African market, according to the PWC Hotels outlook: 2017-2021. The report also indicates that the overall number of available rooms is expected to increase at a 0.9% compound annual rate, thereby adding 2,700 rooms over this period.
Continuous investment to unlock the substantial potential of our industry is fundamental to staying at the forefront. It’s about looking to the future with innovation in our minds and our guests’ best interests in our hearts.

Riding the wave of travel trends

Let’s face it, what kept customers happy 10 years ago no longer works today and unless you embrace the ever-changing travel trends of consumers you will find yourself left in the dust.

Technology is top of the list for the way in which it has forever changed the way we travel. The internet, smartphones, electronic payments and the power of social media have given consumers a voice directly to venues and with each other. While this can be challenging in some instances, it also brings an opportunity to embrace low-cost, wide-reaching platforms that allow instant communication with our market and a potent means of quality control. We need to bear in mind that as consumers use technology they become more knowledgeable about hospitality on a global scale and with that, their expectations become greater.

Another topical travel trend is eco-friendly tourism, especially with the impact of Cape Town’s water crisis. ‘Going Green’ is no longer just a buzz phrase and it’s only a matter of time before green practices in the hospitality industry become a baseline requirement. Our industry can influence change, and there needs to be a progressive step in that direction. We want guests to be part of the sustainable tourism experience when visiting our properties in the hope that this will lead to them adopting some of these measures when they return home.

Health and wellness is a global awareness drive that has become a travel trend influencer as well. Healthier lifestyles now dictate the type of hotels or resorts where these travellers want to stay, and their decisions are based on the amenities and even the menu offered. For many, it could be the ‘deal breaker’ when planning a vacation or business trip, and it’s not limited to health spas or a golf course. An array of activities such as mountain biking, hiking trails and horse-riding that cater to an outdoor healthier entertainment programme are sought after.

Thanks to a ‘mobile-job’ era, business travellers are now taking the opportunity of a few extra days of relaxation while attending to business, making the bleisure trend an emerging global phenomenon. Considering our tight economy, this offers an affordable way of rejuvenation which will grow this category of travel in 2018 and beyond.

Promoting local tourism

There’s so much available in our own backyard. South Africa is widely known as one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, thanks to an abundance of natural beauty, pristine coastlines, exciting wildlife and berg experiences, great weather and our unique rainbow nation of diverse cultures that is steeped in history.

Whether it’s for brand-new discoveries, or returning to old favourites, hospitality players are perfectly positioned to encourage holidaymakers to learn more about our country’s beauty and heritage, which includes the promotion and support of local economies and communities as well.

Ensure that your staff are kept up to date with the local tourist hub so that they can encourage guests to explore nearby attractions, taste local cuisine and support local artists and entrepreneurs. This approach will play a pivotal role in making a far-reaching impact in the local tourism value chain.

Service must be at the heart of the industry

Here’s the thing: we are constantly working on multiple channels to improve our operations and service levels. And why? Because we know that there is nothing more important in the hospitality industry.

The direct spin-off to great service is skills training and development. So, if you are not investing in staff training you are bound to face challenges in service delivery and will ultimately struggle to stay afloat in the current economy. Training needs to encompass all aspects of your business, as each person impacts customer service in one way or another. Furthermore, an investment in skills training is the best way to reduce employee turnover, which is one of the biggest drains on the hospitality industry.

Bear in mind that while all customers are not the same, there is one thing that makes them all happy – superior service. Because when you think about it, the agenda of our industry is to make people happy.



Local tourism growth unlocks industry careers for students

As the South African and African tourism continues to rise, more students are opting for a career in the industry as opportunities grow. “We’ve seen a steady increase in enrolments for tourism and hospitality-related qualifications and courses over the past three years, which points to a growing demand in the field,” says Ncumisa Makrayi, senior team leader at Oxbridge Academy, which serves more than 20,000 South African distance learning students every year.

Makrayi says the industry is attractive not only to young people, but also to those seeking a career change later in life, because of the growing and diverse opportunities at both junior and senior level.

At current, the direct and indirect jobs in South Africa’s tourism industry is estimated at more than 1.2 million. But the World Economic Forum (WEF) has estimated that sub-Saharan Africa will create about 3.2 million tourism jobs between 2012 and 2022. Additionally, the WEF expects African tourism employment to grow by 2.3% per annum.

Makrayi says that it would be impossible to note all the opportunities in the industry and the fields that can be pursued, but that these include positions such as hotel manager and receptionist, reservations clerk, travel agent, tour guide, waiter and bartender, barista, event planner, flight planner, travel agent, concierge, and chef.

“Another major benefit in this industry is that there is a lot of scope – and indeed we are seeing this happen – for suitably qualified and experienced professionals to start their own small businesses in their chosen field,” adds Makrayi.

Makrayi, however, states, that with the increase in opportunity, there is also an increase in competition for available opportunities; which means that people wishing to enter the industry will do well to show that they have mastered the basic theory in their chosen field and that they have some experience.

“The benefit is that there are many options for pursuing a qualification in your own time and at your own pace, so that you can continue earning while learning.”

Research is key to match strengths, passion

She adds that, before deciding on a specific field in tourism, candidates should do their research and determine which careers are best matched to their individual strengths and passion. “For instance, travel agents research, plan, and book trips for individuals and groups. Although people are starting to research and book their travel plans online, it’s often easier to use an agent, as they have years of experience and knowledge, and know how to avoid expensive mistakes by making suitable flight bookings, hotel selections and transfer arrangements. If you’re considering becoming a travel agent, you will need great organisational skills and attention to detail, and the ability to think on your feet.”

Hotel managers, on the other hand, need to be comfortable with great responsibility and must be able to juggle many balls at once. “As a hotel manager, you will be responsible for the daily running of the hotel, including recruiting, training and supervising staff; managing budgets; planning maintenance work; dealing with customers’ complaints; overseeing reservations; promoting and marketing the hotel; and ensuring that the hotel complies with health and safety regulations.”

For those who enjoy travelling, becoming a tour operator is the job of a lifetime. “But it’s not all sunshine and sangrias,” says Makrayi.” You must still be able to deal competently with logistics, and with various service providers such as bus operators, airlines and hoteliers.”

Makrayi suggests that a good starting point for those who want to pursue a career in tourism, but who are not yet sure in which field, is to do a National Tourism Certificate that is registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). “That will give you a solid theoretical grounding and a foot in many doors, while you investigate exactly which field is the best fit for you.

“And for those who do know exactly what they want to do, there are many fantastic short courses and skills certificates related to specific tourism and hospitality careers, which will give them the foundation they need to enter the workplace with confidence.”

Interested in finding out more? Take a look at our Tourism Programmes or find a college offering ITHSA Tourism Programmes.



CTH Spotlight – The Ritz Hotel, London

CTH are proud to be known for first-class Hospitality qualifications around the world. Here, in the first of a series of inspirational films for CTH students, we talk to key staff members at one of the major hospitality employers of the world.


We took a look at data from travel search engine Kayak to find out which destinations people are looking to book most right now.

Last year, Asian destinations dominated the list of the most-visited cities in the world.

Looking ahead though, travellers seem to be setting their sights on Europe. That’s according to data from travel search engine Kayak, which just released their 2018 travel hacker guide, featuring the top trending destinations of this year.

In order to create this list, Kayak looked at the top 100 most searched for travel dates between 3 March 2017 and 28 February 2018, and identified the cities around the world with the greatest year-over-year increase in search.

For all the destinations that made the list, Kayak also featured the median hotel price there, as well as the median airfare to that city from the US and Canada based on travel dates that fall into the same one-year period mentioned above. We then used this data to identify the cheapest month to visit each place.

Keep scrolling to see where travellers are itching to go in 2018.

10. Rome, Italy — February is the cheapest time to go

17% increase in searches

Median airfare in February: $486

Median hotel rate in February: $122

Cheapest time to book: four months before departure

Note: only hotels with three stars and above are included in this data.

9. Paris, France — January is the cheapest time to go


18% increase in searches

Median airfare in January: $474

Median hotel rate in January: $154

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

8. Athens, Greece — February is the cheapest time to go

20% increase in searches

Median airfare in February: $657

Median hotel rate in February: $92

Cheapest time to book: five months before departure

7. Madrid, Spain — March is the cheapest time to go

20% increase in searches

Median airfare in March: $520

Median hotel rate in March: $114

Cheapest time to book: five months before departure

6. Las Vegas, Nevada — August is the cheapest time to go

21% increase in searches

Median airfare in August: $212

Median hotel rate in August: $154

Cheapest time to book: two months before departure

5. Lisbon, Portugal — February is the cheapest time to go

(EDP Foundation)

25% increase in searches

Median airfare in February: $566

Median hotel rate in February: $82

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands — January is the cheapest time to go

27% increase in searches

Median airfare in January: $499

Median hotel rate in January: $138

Cheapest time to book: three months before departure

3. Bali, Indonesia — November is the cheapest time to go


27% increase in searches

Median airfare in November: $782

Median hotel rate in November: $123

Cheapest time to book: four months before departure

2. Barcelona, Spain — January is the cheapest time to go

35% increase in searches

Median airfare in January: $420

Median hotel rate in January: $103

Cheapest time to book: six months before departure

1. Maui, Hawaii — September is the cheapest time to go


51% increase in searches

Median airfare in September: $560

Median hotel rate in September: $309

Cheapest time to book: three months before departure

Article originally published on: