What international destinations are on your travel bucket list? According to new research by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the collective response to that question has been shifting to some unlikely destinations. Is the Republic of Congo on your list? Because maybe it should be. The WTTC report identified the thirty fastest growing travel markets by nation between 2011 to 2017, and the results contain more than a few surprises. The top ten are Myanmar, Iraq, Georgia, Rwanda, Iceland, Nicaragua, Qatar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Armenia and the Ivory Coast. Iceland and Nicaragua notwithstanding, here’s a little info on some of the top places you didn’t know your future self wants to travel to.
Despite the ongoing political unrest and the fact that the Canadian government advises “a high degree of caution” when travelling there, Myanmar (AKA Burma) has landed the number one spot on the list of fastest growing spots. Visitors seek beautiful temples, vivid food and culture and plenty of beaches yet unspoiled by the tourist masses.
A recent history of bloody headlines marred this culture-rich destination for some time, but travellers are starting to come back around to Iraq’s charm. Popular tourist destinations include The Iraq Museum in Baghdad, the ancient city of Babylon and lots of shrines. The Canadian government’s advice if you want it: “avoid all travel.”
If you’re into wine, stunning architecture and epic natural landscapes, there’s an on-the-rise country south on the Black Sea with your name on it. And it’s significantly cheaper than any European competition. For your own safety, however, avoid the Russian border regions as well as the breakaway regions of Abkhasia and South Ossetia.
You probably don’t want to go on any off-the-path road trips–terrorism threats still lurk in the area–but if you do find yourself in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar you might as well take advantage of the stellar shopping, fine Gulf beaches and thrilling desert adventures.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The reasons to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo lie in its national parks and reserves–the African nation has one of the most impressive populations of western lowland gorillas on earth. But the choice to travel here in today’s political climate should not be taken lightly: government advice ranges from “avoid all non-essential travel” to “avoid all travel.”