Travel Hot List 2013
It’s time for my annual credibility gamble – the Hot List of destinations that I think will start to gain traction in 2013. Last year I predicted that Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Oman would become sought after and you know what? I think I was on the money. They may not be booming but I have noticed that the big hotel chains, touring and cruise companies are opening in and packaging these countries more frequently; a sure sign that someone is doing their market research.
This year, I am backing these countries in my tourism trifecta:
This is the only country in South East Asia that hasn’t been overrun with sunburnt, semi-drunk Australians. It’s mystique remains intact and it’s attractions – from the 4000 Buddhist temples at Bagan to Rudyard Kipling’s Mandalay – are real Indiana Jones territory. I remember talking to a Hotel GM who worked in the capital of Yangon 10 years ago. She said that ex-pats used to buy butter and cheese on the black market and they would host dinner parties where everyone had to bring an ingredient. I am fascinated to explore Myanmar before the Pizza, Pasta, Fries brigade swarm and destroy.
From the Northern Lights to volcanoes to Bjork, this remote island country is weird, wonderful and becoming an increasingly popular itinerary item for travellers to Europe wanting to immerse themselves in the country’s bizarrely liberal creative scene.
I keep hearing about how cheap and fabulous Estonia is. I know exactly nothing else about it apart from its location. Lonely Planet calls it ‘Europe’s best kept secret’. So secret, in fact, that I am dying to go there on the faint promise of cheap beer, castles and a genuine sense of discovery.
Getting there? I recently stumbled across this nifty site that does all the hard work for you in terms of finding and comparing cheap flights. Word to your mother – look for the least stops, best flight times (long legs overnight, short legs during the day) and always try to buy your way into a lounge area if you’re stuck at an airport for longer than four hours. Some airlines allow it.
What’s your vibe on hot tourism destinations this year? Am I waaaaay off?