STA Travel

STA Travel

August 06, 2008 03:00 ET

More Gappers Head to South America

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2008) - South America is fast becoming the must-see destination for gap year travellers, according to new figures from youth and budget travel experts, STA Travel. 29% more gappers are planning to soak up the culture and history of South America this year compared to 2007.

Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, San Jose and Lima all make it into STA Travel's top 10 fastest growing destinations. This growth in popularity has largely been driven by falling airfares, prompted by an increase in airlines flying into the region. Nepal and Vietnam also make it in to the top three as gappers look to get off the traditional gap trail and find more challenging destinations.

STA Travel's top 10 fastest growing destinations for 2008 with lead in return fares are:

1) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - flights from Pounds Sterling 795 with British Airways

2) Kathmandu, Nepal - flights from Pounds Sterling 585 with Qatar Airways

3) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - flights from Pounds Sterling 555 with Royal Brunei

4) Cairns, Australia - flights from Pounds Sterling 949 with Cathay Pacific

5) Buenos Aires, Argentina - flights from Pounds Sterling 625 with Alitalia

6) San Jose, Costa Rica - flights from Pounds Sterling 725 with Delta Air Lines

7) Brisbane, Australia - flights from Pounds Sterling 765 with Etihad

8) Lima, Peru - flights from Pounds Sterling 819 with Delta Air Lines

9) Las Vegas, USA - flights Pounds Sterling 589 return with KLM

10) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - flights from Pounds Sterling 455 with Ethiopian Airlines

Australia still remains the most popular destination with 5% more gappers planning to head there this year compared to last year. Whilst the traditional tourist spots continue to do well, other cities such as Cairns, Brisbane and Perth are attracting more gap year travellers due to the good all year round weather conditions, abundant job opportunities and the new two year working holiday visas.

STA Travel's managing director, John Constable said: "The list of fastest growing destinations is significant because young travellers often set the mainstream industry trends for the future. South America is the 'hot' destination this year and we have seen volume to destinations such as San Jose and Lima grow by as much as 39% over the last year.

"We have also seen changes in the way young people approach their travels. More and more gap year travel is becoming shorter and better planned to get the most out of their time abroad. The once carefree, spontaneous year of travel is now a three to six month carefully researched trip often involving voluntary projects, learning a skill and earning money along the way."

A recent survey by STA Travel shows that one gap year trip is not enough for many young people, with 35% saying that they planned to take another. 81% of respondents said that spending time overseas during their gap year left them wanting to emigrate after completing their studies.

For reservations and more information visit or call 0871 230 8512.

Notes to editors

- For a press release on how to finance your gap year, please click on

- For safety tips whilst on your gap year please click on

- For press release on how to make your gap year greener, please click on

- For tips on how to pack the perfect rucksack, please click on

- STA Travel is the exclusive provider of British Airways' student and
Youth fares. The fares are valid for all students with a valid ISIC card
and people under 26 years old.

- Student airfares sold by STA Travel offer flexibility usually associated
with higher priced airfares such as date and route changes as well as
cancellation conditions that allow refunds.

- The survey was conducted on-line by STA Travel amongst 234 people.

STA Travel has over 25 years experience in student, budget and independent travel. They offer a unique range of flights, accommodation, adventures and expeditions in 90 countries. They send over 6 million passengers away each year and now have over 400 branches worldwide.

Contact Information

  • Hill and Dean PR
    Tiggy Dean
    020 8875 9923
    Hill and Dean PR
    Emma Hill
    020 8875 9923