These Global Destinations Are Officially on the Rise
You could always go to an evergreen tourist destination, like, France, Italy, or Mexico. Or a current hotspot, like Portugal, Colombia, or Croatia. Or, you could do one better, and book tickets to a place that’s about to become the next big thing.
The World Tourism Organization, or UNWTO, recently released their 2018 Tourism Highlights Edition, which examines data from 2016-2017. In it, they highlight not only the most popular countries per continent, but the ones that have seen the most tourist growth.
Below, just some of the unique destinations from around the world that have seen double-digit increase in visitors. It’s time to get them on your radar.
Mongolia has seen a 16.1 percent rise in tourists from 2016 to 2017, according to the World Tourism Resort. A major draw is Nadaam, an annual summer festival that celebrates traditional Mongolian games and customs. “At the festival, throat-singers perform ancient songs, children dance in traditional costumes, and food tents serve up mutton dumplings,” writes Vogue contributor Hayley Smith.
Although Mongolian life is traditionally centered around Nomadic culture, a younger generation has sought urban life in Ulaanbaatar, the capital. Over the past few years, a slew of modern hotels have opened in the city, like the Shangri-La in 2015 and a Novotel, which opened this September.
While its neighbors Argentina and Brazil are still the most popular tourist destinations in South America, Uruguay has seen a 21 percent uptick in visitors this year. It’s just the latest fact that suggests that the country is becoming the continent’s hotspot: the island of José Ignacio has transformed from a fishing village to an luxury resort town, while a ghost town has become a world-renowned culinary destination. Then there’s Montevideo, a beachside city filled with neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture.
Despite being landlocked, Paraguay is a budding destination in South America, seeing a 17.5 percent rise in visitors from 2016. Iguazu Falls is a major attraction, but Asunción, their capital, has been referred to as a “fascinating, under-visited city” thanks to its colonial and Beaux Arts buildings, green spaces, and laid-back atmosphere.
This Middle Eastern Country has been on *Vogue’s* Must-Visit List since 2016, and fellow travelers agree: it’s seen a 20 percent tourism jump year over year. What makes it so special? The bright white buildings, the ornate mosques, and the bustling bazaars.
One of the happiest countries in the world is also one of the fastest growing tourist countries, with a 21 percent increase from 2016. Tucked away in its Himalayan mountains are a slew of luxury resorts, like Aman’s Amankora, and this November, the Six Senses Bhutan.
This African island nation, where Prince William and Kate Middletonhoneymooned, saw over a 15 percent rise in visitors. The reason? The UNWTO reports it’s “benefiting from increased air connectivity” (it now has non-stop flights from Dubai and Beijing).