This year is going to be a great travel year and we wanted to share our picks with you guys. 2012 will have a great deal of sports events, and a lot of countries opening up their borders.
Elliott’s Top Picks
Oman– this year Muscat will be completely refurbishing almost everything! This will be the city of the future.
Burma– Burma has become a much more open, safe country. Though this might take a little bit of the adventure away from the journey, it will be great for people trying to experience some of the pull of the Irrawady.
Bhutan– something of a dream destination for both of us for a very long time Burma is just about the most exotic place on the planet. This country is possibly the least touched by Western culture and I cannot wait to go there!
Much like Elliott, I believe Southeast Asia is the next great destination. Countries that have had unstable governments for years, now are becoming more accessible by tourists. Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan and Burma have been increasing over the past couple of years specifically, the big upcoming destinations for this year are…
The Cambodian Islands– Ever since we published our fist post back in December about our dream hotel there, I have seen more articles on the web than ever. There also was a spread in Travel and Leisure about it.
Toronto– This one might seem like an oddball, but currently there are more high profile luxury hotels opening up than anywhere else in the world. The Trump, Shangri-la and a new Four Seasons (the new flagship) are just a few of the hotels headlining the list. Also expanding is the Toronto based airline, Porter. One of the city’s main attractions is the CN tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere. Personally I think the city would be a fun weekend visit, but I’m not so sure there is enough to do there for more than a couple days.
London– This city has been a huge tourist destination for years, but with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Summer Olympics just around the corner, if there’s anytime to visit London it would be now. My recommendation would be to visit next fall after the Olympics, so you can see where it all happened rather than where it’s going to happen.
Abu Dhabi– Often regarded as Dubai’s smaller cousin (even though the emirate bailed the city out a couple years back), Abu Dhabi is growing not as a business destination, but as a leisure and beach destination. The city has sandy white beaches and luxurious hotels to match. Notable hotel openings include Park Hyatt, St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton. I think that Abu Dhabi will definitely be in direct competition with Oman as they have similar beaches and upscale resorts. The one thing that Oman lacks that Abu Dhabi does not is accessibility. Abu Dhabi has its own airlines, and Dubai just a two hour drive away whereas, getting to Oman requires a stop, usually in Dubai. I think it will be very interesting to see which comes out on top.
Peru– This is what I think is the largest growth out of any destination. I recently visited over winter break and according to the concierge at my hotel in Lima, this was the busiest year they have ever seen. Peru is such a diverse and exciting country. You can be cruise down the Amazon one day, hiking up mountains the next, and then go sandboarding down dunes that’d make you think you’re in the Sahara. Peruvian cuisine is also emerging as the next great food. Chefs such as Nobu Matsuhisa have already created restaurants around the world centered around the food. As you will see in my upcoming trip report, Peru is becoming one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.