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  • Top Places to Chase the Sun this Winter, according to the Wotif.com Winter Heat Index

    With winter here, leading online travel site, Wotif has crunched the numbers to uncover the best holiday destinations to chase the sun this winter, both in our Aussie backyard and overseas.

    Analysing accommodation costs, year-on-year search growth, average temperature, rainfall, travel time and distance from the coastline, the Wotif Winter Heat Index provides Aussies with insider knowledge on the best destinations to visit over the winter months.

    Wotif Travel Expert, Amanda Behre said:
    • “There are so many factors to consider when planning a holiday and while Aussies are savvy travellers, it’s admittingly hard to keep up with international weather patterns and also know where you should go to get the best deal.”
    • “Our research tells us that when the temperature drops, 1 in 3 Aussies***** look to escape the chill and what our Winter Heat Index proves is that you don’t necessarily need to travel far for some fun in the sun. When we compare accommodation costs, weather patterns and the interest of our travellers, it was our much-loved, local gem Cairns that proves to be the best winter escape for Aussies.”
    • “Cairns is the quintessential Aussie holiday spot, and many flock to the bustling city for both adventure and relaxation. It’s also a great time to dive the Great Barrier Reef when there’s usually very little rainfall and excellent visibility.”
    • “It’s no surprise that Queensland dominated the index, making it the best winter destination in the country for those of us looking to chase the sun. With balmy temperatures and plenty of beaches to discover, Queensland is the place to be this winter.”
    • “The best thing is that it’s not too late to get a good deal, with the indexed destinations in easy reach for Aussies looking to take a quick week getaway, plus there is plenty of accommodation still available at these destinations over the winter months.”

    The Wotif Winter Heat Index*

    1. Cairns, Queensland
    Cairns is the quintessential Aussie holiday spot, and many flock to bustling city for both adventure and relaxation. Over the winter months, interest continues to grow with interest up over 55% year-on-year on Wotif.com****. Winter is also the best season to visit to Cairns when travellers can expect clear skies and a high of 26 degrees***, making it a great time to explore the biggest attraction in the region – the Great Barrier Reef. With an indicative average accommodation rate of $161**, there are fantastic accommodation options throughout this tropical haven, with facilities in town catering to all travellers and budgets.

    2. Hoi An, Vietnam
    The delightful town of Hoi An should form part of any itinerary in Vietnam and with year-on-year interest up close to 5%****, more and more Aussies are catching on. From seaside resorts to affordable hotels, Hoi An is a melting pot of history and culture and one of the most affordable destinations to visit this winter**. To experience all the city has to offer, Aussies should wander through the ancient town, visit the local tailors and join a cooking class.

    3. Krabi, Thailand
    Krabi is one of the most scenic and relaxing destinations in Thailand and many Aussies are taking notice, with July interest up almost a huge 130% year-on-year****. After your first trip to this lively town, you’ll want to go back time and time again. You can expect an average high of 31 degrees in July***, meaning you’ll have no excuse but to sail off and visit one of the many islands off the Krabi coast***. There’s also no shortage of great hotels in Krabi with an indicative average accommodation rate of $91**. From stunning beach resorts, to affordable hotels closer to the town centre, there’s plenty to choose from when visiting this beautiful part of Southern Thailand.

    4. Nha Trang, Vietnam
    Nha Trang is a great coastal hotspot that is steadily gaining popularity among Aussie travellers, with year-on-year interest up over 10%****. The city boasts warm temperatures year-round, however the Aussie winter is one of the best times to visit with an average high of 33 degrees and just three days of expected rainfall*** – meaning you’ll have more time to enjoy the sunshine. There are many affordable resorts to choose from along the coast, with an indicative accommodation rate over winter of $138**. Nha Trang is also a good option for the kids, thanks to Vinpearl Land waterpark, which has the biggest wave pool in Southeast Asia. Plus, one of the best parts of the journey to Vinpearl Land, which is located on Hon Tre Island is catching the world’s longest over-the-sea cable car.

    5. Bowen, Queensland
    Bowen’s prime location on the eastern coast of Queensland gives its visitors not one, but eight beautiful beaches to choose from, plus not to mention access to the Whitsundays. With an indicative accommodation rate of $140 per night**, Bowen is the relaxed costal town you choose to visit when looking to truly unwind. This winter, interest is up over 35% year-on-year****, no doubt thanks to the town’s family appeal and enjoyable winter temperatures. The best thing is that no visit to Bowen is complete without a stop and photo at the iconic Big Mango.

    6. Colombo, Sri Lanka
    As the country’s west coast capital, Colombo is a colourful hot spot that is quickly becoming a must-see destination within Sri Lanka, with interest up over 80% year-on-year****. Explore the stunning gardens and galleries or visit the many local cafes and tea houses to make the most of your time in the city. With an average high of 30 degrees in July***, Colombo is a top winter warmer destination and the five-hectare ocean-side urban park at Galle Face Green means you’ll still enjoy a sea breeze.

    7. Monkey Mia, Western Australia
    Monkey Mia is a holiday destination like no other, located on Australia’s Coral Coast with year-on-year interest up close to 60%****. With blue skies and sunshine almost every day of the year, Monkey Mia is an ideal winter destination, perfect for a leisurely Aussie getaway or outback adventure. While accommodation in Monkey Mia is limited, the nearby town of Denham has good facilities to choose from including self-contained apartments and bed and breakfasts, with an indicative accommodation rate of $199**.

    8. Pattaya, Thailand
    An attractive nightlife scene, easy-going beach culture and endless water sports activities make Pattaya an increasingly attractive destination for Aussies over winter, with year-on-year interest up close to 10%****. Boasting an average July temperature of 32 degrees***, you’ll have no excuse but to visit one of the many and lively beaches along the coast. Plus, only a short distance from Bangkok, Pattaya is a great playground for all types of travellers.

    9. Marcoola, Queensland
    This peaceful perched on the Sunshine Coast is a great place to stay when looking to explore the Aussie beaches, beautiful hinterland and laidback towns along the coast. With year-on-year interest up a huge 115%****, Marcoola places you smack bang between Caloundra and Noosa, meaning you’re at the heart of this long strip of sunny white shores. While temperatures are cooler here than other destinations, Marcoola makes up for it with minimal predicted rainfall over July and an indicative accommodation rate of $154 per night**.

    10. Townsville, Queensland
    There is something for everyone in Townsville making it a strong winter holiday contender, with year-on-year interest up over 10%****. From the beaches to the rainforests, to the islands and the Great Barrier Reef, your days in Townsville will be jam-packed with activities and your nights will be as enjoyable with great restaurants and a thriving nightlife. Plus, with an indicative accommodation rate of $145 a night**, Townsville is the most affordable Aussie destination on the Wotif Winter Heat Index.

    For more travel inspiration and to book your winter getaway, visit www.wotif.com.

    – ENDS –

    Notes to Editor:

    *Wotif Winter Heat Index:
    The 2018 Wotif Winter Heat Index was determined by an index which examined the affordability and increased interest on Wotif.com along with average monthly temperature and rainfall in each town or city. Destination were given a rating for each category and the total score resulted in the Wotif Winter Heat Index.
    • **Affordability: The value of each destination is based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star rated and self-rated accommodation demand on Wotif.com from June 2017 to August 2017. Prices are in Australian dollars and are not necessarily the rates displayed on the site. Rates are subject to accommodation selections made.
    • ***Interest: Year-on-year interest is based on accommodation searches on Wotif.com from 1 January 2018 to 16 April 2018, for travel dates including 4 July 2018 to 18 July 2018 compared to searches from 1 January 2017 to 6 April 2017 for travel dates 25 June 2017 to 9 July 2017.
    • ****Temperature and Rainfall: Based on the average monthly high and average monthly rainfall for each destination in June, July and August 2017 from www.ncdc.noaa.gov

    *****The Leading Edge were engaged by Wotif to conduct research into understanding Australian travellers. The study was conducted across August to September 2017 and consisted of two components: Online Community of 40 Australian travellers and Online Survey completed by a nationally representative sample of 1,036 Australians travellers (who had all travelled and stayed in paid accommodation in the last 2 years on leisure holidays). The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission- based panel, between 23rd and 29th August 2017. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Data was weighted to National Representative proportions to reflect the age, gender and residential location of Australian travellers.

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