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Bali knocks Singapore off Asian travel top spot - with a little help from its friends

Travel booking site Wotif.com has revealed that Bali was the most popular Asian destination for its customers last year.

The Indonesian island paradise saw more bookings than any other Asian destination, knocking Singapore off the top spot, which it has held for three years.

In fact, Singapore fell two places to become the third most-booked destination - Hong Kong was in second spot, while the Thai tourism hotspots of Bangkok and Phuket were in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Wotif.com believes that traveler numbers to Bali are set to continue growing thanks to the continuing popularity of last year's Eat, Pray, Love, a film starring Julia Roberts based on the New York Times bestselling novel which sees a recently divorced author embark on the trip of a lifetime to Italy, India and Indonesia.

Wotif.com's Matthew Varley described Indonesia as a "region to watch," noting that "Bali especially has managed to harness the positive hype around the major Hollywood movie Eat, Pray, Love, converting many into lovers of Bali."

Although Singapore has dropped in terms of bookings on Wotif.com this year, Varley believes it could experience a renaissance in 2011 thanks to the launch of Gardens by the Bay, a huge botanical gardens development set to open in November this year.

"This new development will help transform the Marina Bay area and make the cityscape one of the most attractive in the region," he continued.

"With this addition and continued initiatives by the Tourism Board we are confident that Singapore will do everything it can to regain its standing in the popular destinations list this year."

Top Asian destinations (by Wotif.com bookings) in 2010

1. Bali
2. Hong Kong
3. Singapore
4. Bangkok
5. Phuket
6. Kuala Lumpur
7. Ho Chi Minh City
8. Koh Samui
9. Shanghai
10. Tokyo

Data provided by Wotif.com - http://www.wotif.com