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Hottest destinations for luxury winter sun – with Cyprus rising up the ranks 

Data from influencer analytics platform, WeArisma, has revealed that the Canary Islands are the most popular winter sun destination among influential social media sources worldwide. Influencer Emma Jane, magician Ben Hanlin and actress and easyJet Holidays ambassador, Catherine Tyldesley are some of those who have made it the most talked about winter sun destination among influencers for the second year running.  

Joining the Canary Islands are the UAE and the Caribbean Islands, based on WeArisma’s analysis of influencer, celebrity and press social content between November 2023 and January 2024. 

Although the UAE retained its spot as the second most popular winter sun destination, there has been a decline of around a third (31%) in the number of influential sources talking about it on social media since last year. During Covid, more relaxed restrictions may have made Dubai an attractive choice, however at the beginning of this year, it topped a list of the most overrated travel destinations

With hundreds of islands to choose from and surrounded by crystal blue waters, the Caribbean moved into third place amongst influencers after ranking fourth last year. Actor Joan Collins and model Harry Rowley both shared snaps from Barbados, while beauty influencer Ksenija Selivanova included her Turks & Caicos holiday in a winter round-up photo dump. 

Cyprus – the up-and-coming destination 

A winter sun destination that has skyrocketed in popularity over the last year is Cyprus, ranking the 12th most popular destination this year versus sitting at 22 in the 2022/23 season. Conde NastThe Traveller, a major voice in luxury travel, posted about Cyprus’s irresistible promise of sea, sand and sunshine all year round, while fashion influencer Elyshia Hockney captured her day-in-the-life TikTok video from her Paphos trip. 

Influencers boosting luxury hotel brands 

The most talked about luxury hotel and resort brands were Four Seasons, Jumeirah Group and Shangri-La, with Vogue’s Facebook post about Four Seasons Tamarindo in Mexico in December generating a media value of $413,300 and in the same month, Yana Rudkovskaya showed off the beauty of Jumeirah Maldives to over 6 million followers. 

Jenny Tsai, co-founder and CEO of WeArisma, said: “From Paddy McGuinness relaxing in a pool in Dubai to Mille Mackintosh enjoying family time in Mauritius, celebrities and influencers love to share their winter sun snaps on social media. Two-fifths of all influencers who posted about winter sun from November to January are UK-based, showing a trend of escaping from our colder climates. 

“Endorsement from influential sources plays a significant role in driving destination popularity, and the travel industry can leverage this – from tourism boards and travel operators to airlines and hotels. Whether it’s showcasing aspirational apartments and beautiful sights, or even providing practical recommendations and advice, social media is a hub for travel inspiration. It will therefore be interesting to see how the travel industry and influencers will help shape general consumer trends throughout the year.” 

Top 20 luxury winter sun destinations by number of influencers sharing content: 

2023/24 Position  2022/23 Position    Destination 
Canary Islands 
+1  Caribbean Islands 
+1  Morocco 
-2  India 
The Maldives 
11  +3  Egypt 
16  +7  Mauritius 
10  12  +2  Balearic Islands 
11  15  +4  Thailand 
12  22  +10  Cyprus 
13  -4  Florida 
14  10  -4  Madeira 
15  21  +6  Bali 
16  13  -3  Australia 
17  18  -1  Malta 
18  14  -4  California 
19  17  -2  South Africa 
20  24  +4  Kenya