Bali has been named the most popular tourism destination in the world for its broad appeal to both adventurers and those in need of a little relaxation, according to TripAdvisor.
It is the first time the travel website has taken islands into account when calculating its Travellers Choice Ratings, which are based on millions of reviews from travellers around the world over the previous 12 months.
The Indonesian island has long been a favourite holiday destination, with azure waters off the white beaches presenting an ideal spot for diving, while the dense jungles teeming with monkeys and stone temples call out for exploration.
Bali rewards hikers with beautiful views from the summit of Mount Batur and offers tourists the option of winding down with a massage at one of the island’s many luxury spas.
But what has made Bali such an attractive holiday destination over other cities, especially for its Aussie neighbours?
Proximity may factor in, but price may be another indicator as to why Bali is so popular.
The average nightly rate to stay in Bali, as per TripAdvisor, runs to about $108.
Not even the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, which killed 222 people and injured more than 300, deterred its Australian guests from returning to the popular beach holiday destination.
The island saw only temporary drops in Australian tourism following each of the terror attacks.
As recently as December last year, the federal government issued a travel warning to citizens considering holidaying in Bali after a string of terror plots.
The official advice on travel to Indonesia, as of February 3, remains to “exercise a high degree of caution”.
But the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show short-term travel from Australia to Indonesia, including Bali, recorded the strongest growth – 546 per cent – over the 10-year period ending December, 2016.
TripAdvisor users voted London the second-most popular destination for world travellers last year, followed by Paris.
Top 10 destinations around the world
1. Bali, Indonesia
2. London, United Kingdom
3. Paris, France
4. Rome, Italy
5. New York City, US
6. Crete, Greece
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Siem Reap, Cambodia
9. Prague, Czech Republic
10. Phuket, Thailand
Top 10 destinations in Australia
1. Sydney, New South Wales
2. Melbourne, Victoria
3. Lord Howe Island, Tasman Sea
4. Gold Coast , Queensland
5. Magnetic Island, Queensland
6. Noosa, Queensland
7. Margaret River, Western Australia
8. Port Douglas, Queensland
9. Exmouth, Western Australia
10. Airlie Beach, Queensland