Top 5 holiday destination countries of 2012
Which countries will come into their own as holiday destinations in 2012? We’ve collated hundreds of thoughts from everyone at Lonely Planet, including our extended of family of travellers, bloggers and tweeters to work out the very best.
This record of the top 5 countries for 2012 – in ranked order – was voted for by a panel of of inhouse travel experts, based on topicality, excitement, value and that special X-factor.
It’s taken unpleasant dictatorships and a brutal civil war to keep Uganda off the vacationer radar, but balance is returning and it will not be long before guests come flocking back. After all, this is the source of the river Nile – that mythical place explorers sought since Roman times.
It’s also where savannah meets the vast lakes of East Africa, and where snow-capped mountains bear down on sprawling jungles. Not such a long ago, the tyrannical dictator and ‘Last King of Scotland’ Idi Amin helped hunt Uganda’s big game to the brink of extinction, but today the wildlife is coming with a vengeance.
When we don’t know much about a country, we just fill the gaps with clichés – and Ukraine, the excellent unknown of Europe, has had plenty hurled at it. Wide-scale counter-espionage? No, not even in Odessa. Communist dirt everywhere you look? One glimpse of fantastic Old Town Kiev or the wildlife on unspoilt Crimean shores will set you straight.
Cheap beer? You bet: it’s cheaper than water. Football? Funny you should discuss that…It’s through the power of soccer that Ukraine is poised to showcase its charms to unprecedented numbers of visitors.
3) Myanmar (Burma)
‘We want visitors to come to Burma.’ Which is the words of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the opposition party that has urged foreigners to stay away since 1996.
This changed in late 2010, when the NLD revised its boycott to motivate independent vacation (as opposed to package tours) ) following the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who had spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.
Every year, Denmark tops a ‘quality of life’ record and is unveiled as the coolest/happiest/best-looking position on the planet, because not only is the living simple in this small, perfectly formed country, but it’s also simple on the eye.
Viking raids aside, the Danes have long tried to make the world a better place (think generous foreign aid programs and the pursuit of green technology) and they make sure that they lead by example: their homes are stylish recycling-savvy havens of hygge (a sense of contented cosiness) and their public spaces are enjoyed by all.
The word is getting out that jordan is not just about Petra and In Indiana Jones. Yes, the historical ‘Red Rose city’ is still the jewel in Jordan’s crown, but sights such as Wadi Rum, Jerash and Madaba are including weight to the country’s vacationer boom.
One of the most open, friendly and welcoming nations in the Middle East, jordan is an example to other states in the region of how to modernise while preserving cherished ancient traditions.