In 2017, people were loving Asia and Europe, with Hong Kong, Bangkok and London making up the top three most visited cities in the world according to Euromonitor International’s annual round-up. So now that this year is drawing to a close, where will people be headed in 2018 (so we can book our tickets first)? Travel journalist, Oneika Raymond has some ideas for destinations that will be popular next year and little-known gems that definitely should be. Get those Air Miles cards ready.
We can only expect that all of 2018 will be like Mardi Gras when New Orleans celebrates its 300th birthday. For a unique place full of Spanish, French, African and American influences, the Big Easy is sure to be bumping this year. The food is incredible and we dare you to find a weekend without some sort of music festival.
Skip Mexico City and Cancun on the Mexico trip this year and instead, check out the Western city of Guadalajara — the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila. Need we say more? It’s also known as the “Mexican Silicon Valley” and has found a way to marry modern technology and classic architecture that includes stunning cathedrals and the largest market in Latin America.
Georgia: the country, not the state
The country of Georgia is located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and it embraces both influences fiercely. This is a huge foodie destination — khachapuri, anyone? — with fusion from both continents. When you want to burn off all that delicious food, the Caucasus Mountains offer a breathtaking hiking opportunity.
If you’re looking for something a little more domestic, there are any number of Canadian destinations just as gorgeous as what you find outside our borders. Quebec City is like New Orleans in that it’s a little piece of living, breathing international history. Not only is it clearly Canadian, Old Town Quebec is like stepping into a centuries-old European city, cobblestones and all. Plus, if you’re missing those Canada 150 celebrations, Chateau Frontenac is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, so there’s sure to be a party. It’s also the most photographed hotel in the world, so you’ll want to get in on that.
If you’re looking for an adventure to make your friends go, “Wow, I never thought of visiting there,” Sri Lanka is a unique destination. It is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites including ancient ruins in Anuradhapura and Poḷonnaruwa and the tea fields and temples of Kandy. Anuradhapura is also home to Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, which is thought to be the oldest living tree in the world and the place where Buddha attained enlightenment. After the year that 2017 was, maybe we all need to pay it a visit.