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Just a few years ago, travelers on vacation went to see the capitals of the world, eat at famous restaurants and bought mementoes of their trips. Now, with the emergence of millennial travelers accounting for about 76 million of these tourists, those priorities have changed. The latest research strongly suggests that younger travelers are more interested in the unique experiences and remote destinations such as flying privately to unusual out of the way places. Here are a five places millennials are traveling to this year:
Port Louis — Mauritius
Mauritius is one of the world's top luxury tourism destinations and received the World Leading Island Destination award for the third time and World's Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012. It is a volcanic island nation off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior encompasses Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and native fauna. Port Louis, its capital, offers unique attractions like the Champs de Mars horse track, the Colonial Eureka plantation and an 18th-century Botanical Garden Island. The destination is also widely known as the only home of the Dodo, which, along with several other avian species, is now extinct.
Malé — The Maldives
Republic of the Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation also in the Indian Ocean. Notably this South Asian Island nation is the only place in the world with its unique geography and topography. The Maldives are located on top of a vast underwater mountain range, which has around 1,190 islands and sandbanks. All the islands are encircled by a lagoon with exceptionally clear water and are protected by a reef structure, housing one of the most exclusive and spectacular underwater life in the world. Malé is the densely populated, capital city of the Maldives. The resorts and hotels in the Maldives are renowned for their exclusivity as most are built on unpopulated islands to preserve privacy and peace. The Maldives is also an underwater paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts that is home to over 2,000 species of fish and varieties of corals.
Akureyri — Iceland
A few years ago, going to Iceland was an odd thing to do. But now, after a currency devaluation, volcanic eruptions, and many seasons of Game of Thrones, Iceland’s unique landscapes and culture are now on many people’s bucket lists. For most visitors, this means exploring Iceland’s southern city of Reykjavík, and the mountains and glaciers of Skaftafell.
However, more adventurous travelers are heading to Akureyri, on the north coast at the base of snow-capped mountains, and at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord. It has become a great base for exploring the north's fishing villages, waterfalls, ski fields and ocean waters. Glaciers, volcanoes, lava fields and stacks of basalt are also everywhere, while unique underwater features lure divers to explore. Nearby are offshore islands that are home to diverse seabird populations. Because of the town's position at the end of a long fjord surrounded by high mountains, the climate is actually warmer than in many other inhabited parts of Iceland.
Tromsø — Norway
Tromsø is located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and is the largest city in northern Norway. It is a popular destination for people wanting to see the Northern Lights from September to March. The Midnight Sun shines from May 20 to July 20, which makes it possible to participate in various summer activities around the clock. The city also hosts the Tromsø International Film Festival and the Northern Light Festival. And, Tromsø City Center is located just around the corner from the seemingly untouched wilderness. In winter, so close to town, there are multiple winter sports possibilities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking and dogsledding.
Palma de Mallorca — Spain
Palma de Mallorca is the capital and largest city of Mallorca, part of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. Located on the southern shores of Mallorca, the island's capital city looks out over the blue seas of the Mediterranean. The Marivent Palace was offered by the city to King Felipe VI of Spain, and the royals have since spent their summer holidays in Palma. Its main attractions and shops are situated around the massive Gothic cathedral La Seu down by the sea front. Most tourists will stay in this part of Palma, as there is a large marina, with a promenade for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Next to La Seu is the Almudaina Palace, a 13th century fortress and the old Arab quarter, with its maze of narrow streets hiding museums, palaces and garden courtyards. The Spanish artist Joan Miro spent the best part of 30 years living on Mallorca, and there is a foundation devoted to his works.