Inspiration Asia Destination Dupes: The Hottest Travel Trend of 2024

Destination Dupes: The Hottest Travel Trend of 2024

The Dutch-influenced buildings of Curaçao, an dream dupe for Sint Maartin in the Caribbean - Luxury Escapes

Switch from Zermatt to Sapporo and leave London for Liverpool – swapping classic destinations for their equally captivating counterparts is 2024’s smartest travel hack.

Santorini’s legendary whitewashed views and Sydney’s iconic harbourfront have competition – savvy travellers are swapping tried-and-true favourites like these for their ‘destination dupes’. According to new research from Expedia Group, searches for cities with just as much charm and lower footfall are on the rise. From Paros to Palermo, discover the hottest new destinations for 2024 and prepare to make some updates to your bucket list.

Taipei (the second Seoul)

Taipei's glittering skyline at dusk, a spectacular substitution for Seoul - Luxury Escapes
Taipei city skyline at dusk.

A thrilling blend of ancient history and cutting-edge modernity, bustling markets and a fantastic foodie scene have visitors flocking to Seoul – but Taipei is hot on the South Korean capital’s heels. Get your culture fix in Taiwan’s capital at the intriguing National Palace Museum and Longshan Temple, then fast-forward to the future atop the staggering Taipei 101 skyscraper. Tuck into a local specialty, ‘stinky tofu’, at the night markets and whizz across the city on efficient and affordable public transport to rival the best.

Pattaya (Bangkok buzz – with beaches)

The Sanctuary of Truth on the shores of Pattaya, a resort city to rival Bangkok's charms - Luxury Escapes
Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand.

With its ornate temples and vibrant nightlife, the resort city of Pattaya gives Bangkok a run for its money. The Sanctuary of Truth Museum and Big Buddha Temple brilliantly showcase traditional Thai architecture, while the bright lights of Walking Street entice you to dance the night away. The best part? Pattaya’s beautiful beaches offer respite from the city buzz, something Thailand’s capital can’t compete with.

Paros (as sweet as Santorini)

Sun-kissed Paros is a stunning stand-in for Santorini - Luxury Escapes
Paros, Greece.

Whitewashed buildings crowned by cobalt domes, hidden coves, crystal-clear waters and labyrinthine streets you can’t wait to get lost in – everything Santorini has, Paros matches. This Aegean island gem offers chic cocktail bars, beautiful buildings (the Church of the Virgin Mary Ekatontapiliani is a must-see) and watersports in abundance, making it a pitch-perfect Cycladic destination.

Curaçao (as dreamy as Sint Maartin)

The Dutch-influenced buildings of Curaçao, an dream dupe for Sint Maartin in the Caribbean - Luxury Escapes
Curaçao in the Caribbean.

A sizzling mix of Caribbean charm and Dutch influence makes the island of Curaçao a dream dupe for Sint Maartin. Colonial architecture in pleasant pastel hues and the sparkling blue sea provide a picturesque backdrop for fusion dining, a lively arts scene and warm local hospitality. From pristine coral reefs to the ancient Hato Caves formations, this is an island of untold natural beauty.

Perth (stepping into Sydney’s spotlight)

Pinky Beach on Rottnest Island, near Perth, an up-and-coming competitor of Sydney - Luxury Escapes
Pinky Beach on Rottnest Island, near Perth.

While no one can replace Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Perth encapsulates a similar spirit to New South Wales’ beloved capital. Find that same harmonious blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty with strolls across the Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Elizabeth Quay and a plethora of local beaches. Head to Fremantle for its renowned foodie scene and coffee culture, and tick off iconic sights like the Bell Tower and Perth Mint.

Liverpool (less hectic than London)

Liverpool shares the same old-town vibe and arts scene as it's larger counterpart, London - Luxury Escapes
Liverpool, England.

Birthplace of The Beatles, Liverpool boasts a music and arts scene that will leave even London’s most diehard lovers impressed. Tap along to the beat of the city with live music at the Cavern Club or join the roar of the crowds during a football (soccer) match at Anfield. Culture vultures can dive into exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, the Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool. If it’s food you’re after, the city’s vast restaurant scene can easily compete with London’s variety.

Palermo (at least as good as Lisbon)

Palermo Cathedral, one of the highlights of Sicily's captivating capital and an excellent swap for Lisbon - Luxury Escapes
Palermo Cathedral, Sicily.

Travellers seeking a city with classic European charm will find plenty to love in Palermo. Sicily’s capital enchants with its UNESCO-listed city centre and landmarks like Palermo Cathedral, Baroque Quattro Canti square and the Norman Palace. Swap Portuguese pastel de nata for Sicilian streetfood at Ballaro and Vucciria markets, and join in the passeggiata tradition, which sees locals taking an evening stroll, stopping to socialise along the way.

Québec City (just as good as Geneva)

Quebec City offers the sophistication of Geneva with its own unique charms - Luxury Escapes
Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Canada.

UNESCO-listed Quebec City is every inch as sophisticated as the Swiss home of the United Nations. Find French-Canadian elegance along cobbled streets and at the iconic Chateau Frontenac, which offers breathtaking views of the city and Saint Lawrence River. Travel back in time as you explore the Old Town’s fortified walls, Place Royale and historic Quartier Petit Champlain, home to quaint boutiques and French bistros.

Sapporo (the zig to Zermatt’s zag)

Trade the Swiss Alps for Japan's snow season in Sapporo - Luxury Escapes
Sapporo skyline in Hokkaido, Japan.

Swap Swiss Alps for Sapporo’s snowcapped peaks and experience ski season with a Japanese maritime twist. Come for the famous annual snow festival in February and watch the city transform into a winter wonderland of ice sculptures. Those who dig the apres more than the ski can sip Sapporo’s legendary local beer and try freshly caught seafood at the local markets.

Memphis (the new Nashville)

Skip from Nashville to Memphis for your dose of Tennessee arts and music history - Luxury Escapes
Memphis, Tennessee.

It might not be Tennessee’s official ‘Music City’ but Memphis carries a soulful sound with deeper roots than the boot scootin’ beats of country-loving Nashville. Get in touch with the birthplace of blues, soul and rock’n’roll as you follow in the footsteps of legendary artists like Elvis Presley at Graceland and Sun Studio. From live music on Beale Street to a poignant insight into Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and death at the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis leaves a lingering impression.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out New York Times Lists Two Australian Cities as 2024 Must-Sees.

About Anna Tabrah
Passionate foodie, avid traveller and lover of coffee and wine. When I'm not busy enjoying these things, you'll find me writing about them instead.

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