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Lonely Planetâ€™s annual overview of the upcoming yearâ€™s top travel trends and worldwide destinations.
It’s that time of year when travel magazines and sites post best of lists, crowning select destinations and hotels as the hot places to visit as well as naming 2017’s travel trends. The best lists vary, reflecting the personality of the magazine, its site and its users.
Here are the top trends and worldwide destinations, according to Lonely Planet, a site and publishing company that draws more mavericks than, for example, Conde Nast Traveler, also noted for its list of bests.
Lonely Planet’s 2017 Travel Trends
Micro-distilleries: While craft beer continues to be popular, drawing beer and bike trails and B&Bs birthed near micro-breweries, the search for local booze has grown to include spirits, and not just in the US. Lonely Planet touts small-batch gins in Australia as well as single-malt whisky in northern Japan.
Working Remotely: Working remotely, not exactly new, is increasing. The improved functionality of mobile technology plus the availability of peer-to-peer freelance sites such as Upwork and Fiverr morph more and more office workers into digital nomads. Although millennials may have pushed the trend, semi-retirees and other baby boomers swell the ranks of those who are following their wanderlust.
Bikepacking: Now there’s a name for it: Bikepacking. Bicycling the backroads, popular for years, has grown to include off-the-beaten track destinations. Lonely Planet cites New Zealand’s Alps to Ocean trail; off-road pedaling in Iceland and cycling and camping in the wild in Dartmoor and Exmoor in Southwest England as interesting examples.
Mobile Travel Photography: The powerful and improved cameras in our smartphones and tablets enable us to move beyond see-where-I-am selfies into the world of travel photography.
Sustainable Travel: The United Nations has proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development. The UN hopes that along with governments, travelers will contribute to the three dimensions of sustainability—economic, social and environmental—by choosing travel options that benefit the Earth and its people and wildlife.
Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2017
1. Canada: Take advantage of Canada’s lower prices compared to the US dollar and the nation’s 150-year celebration to rediscover our neighbor to the north.
2. Colombia: Lonely Planet calls Colombia “a South American jewel” whose civil wars and violent crime might be receding.
3. Finland: 2017 marks 100 years of Finland’s independence.
4. Dominica: Still relatively undeveloped by Caribbean standards, Dominica is lush and green, but has few beaches. Since chain resorts are planned for 2018, 2017 may be the best time to visit.
5. Nepal: Although earthquakes in 2015 demolished some temples, many remain. Tourism, Lonely Planet argues, will help the country restore its treasures.
6. Bermuda: The island with its pink sand beaches and plenty of golf courses is just a two-hour flight from major East Coast cities.
7. Mongolia: Mongolia’s new international airport, to be completed in 2017, makes the country more accessible than before.
8. Oman: Even more luxury hotels are slated to open in Oman in 2017 as is Majarat Oman, what Lonely Planet labels as a “futuristic theme park for families.”
9. Myanmar: Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar’s election of its first civilian government in 50 years, Lonely Planet reasons, means the nation is moving in the right direction.
10. Ethiopia: More air service in 2017 will make the country’s wildlife and landscape more easily accessible than previously.