A WHILE BACK we talked a little about Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Destinations for 2010. We weren’t all that impressed with the list, given that most seemed to already be heavily touristed.
This month Rough Guides published their own list called The big five emerging destinations. I gotta admit, their arguments are much more compelling. Here they are:
1. Panama – With Costa Rica’s over-development, Panama looks fit to step in as the next big tourist destination in Central America. Rough Guides cites a developed infrastructure, year-round sunshine, and a “lush” coastline as some of the reasons to put it on your map.
2. Mongolia – A 1,600-mile cross-country highway called the Millennium Road is due for completion this year. Believe me, this is good news.
Hours and days of bumping around in an old Russian van is enough to keep many people away, but this new road just might lure more travelers in to explore this big, diverse country.
3. New Orleans – After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rough Guides says the Big Easy is “on the up.” And a Superbowl win by the Saints certainly doesn’t hurt.
4. Colombia – Although they mention to steer clear of parts of the Amazon and the south, Rough Guides has strong arguments to visit this once torn country: “wild beaches, rainforest and mountains…vast coffee plantations, archaeological sites and colonial cities.”
5. Iceland – Perhaps too expensive in the past for the budget backpacker crowd, Iceland’s economy is hurting for some love, and this is reflected in the prices.
Tom Coote also gave readers his list of the 5 Next Big Travel Destinations.
Not convinced about travel to Iceland to help them with their economy? Read my side of the argument in Why You Should Travel During the Global Recession.