Asia remains the focus for Australians looking for holiday inspiration, if this year's most searched destinations is anything to go by.
Five of the top 10 most destinations searched on Traveller.com.au in 2015 were in Asia. But the No.1 destination for Traveller.com.au's readers was not Bali or Thailand, but rather - somewhat surprisingly - Japan.
Number two on the list was perennial favourite New York City, while Bali came in at number three, followed by New Zealand. Our neighbour across the Tasman Sea is the number one destination for outbound Australians, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with more than 100,000 Australian residents heading there in October alone.
Two islands followed, but each offers visitors a very different experience. Singapore, at number four, is a stopover favourite for Australians, best known for its food and shopping. Meanwhile Hawaii, at number five, has become a popular beach escape for Aussies as well as a stopover option before heading on to the continental US. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of Australian visitors to Hawaii more than doubled to 310,000 and has continued to grow despite the falling dollar.
Vietnam cemented its place as the new Thailand by coming in at number seven, well ahead of Thailand itself - the traditional Aussie favourite failed to make the top 20.
National travel editor Anthony Dennis said Australia's interest in Japan has grown dramatically over the years.
"It's really personally pleasing to see Japan take out the spot of Traveller.com.au's most searched destination for 2015," he said. "When I first started visiting Japan in the early 1990s I immediately fell in love with it but there was near zero interest in it as a destination among my fellow Australians".
"But, 25 years or so later, cheaper airfares and the extraordinary popularity of skiing there has helped to alert Australians to the appeal of Japan as a whole, along with a growing appreciation of Japanese cuisine. The misguided perception of Japan as a prohibitively expensive destination seems to have dissipated, too."
Japan also cracked the top 10 of the most visited destinations by Australians, according to the latest ABS figures, which had visitor numbers at 243,000 in the year to October to come in at number 9. The most visited destination after New Zealand was Indonesia, followed by the USA, UK and Thailand.
The top 10 most-searched destinations on Traveller.com.au in 2015. Click on the links for our destination guides and features.
The most-visited destinations by Australians in 2015 (based on ABS data to October)
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