SmarterTravel.com, a comprehensive
online travel resource, just revealed its hot list for 2008, announcing the
top destinations to watch, along with travel predictions for the year.
Several cities continue to attract visitors while other hot spots have
secured top billing by building serious tourist infrastructure.
“When compiling the list, we reviewed destinations that are making
improvements to attract more visitors, such as adding more flights and car
rentals, therefore making it easier to travel to these places and to get
around while there,” said Anne Banas, executive editor at
SmarterTravel.com. “For the predictions, we took a really good look at 2007
and the newsmakers, and came up with some great suggestions for travelers
SmarterTravel’s Destinations to Watch in 2008:
—Beijing. With the Beijing Olympics slated for August, the city is
expecting three million spectators during the event. And, even if
you’re not going for the Olympics, you can benefit from the expanded
infrastructure. You don’t have to look far to find improvements geared
towards making the city more visitor friendly. Beijing’s new airport
terminal, slated to be among the world’s largest, will open before the
summer games. A profusion of new hotels, including openings from Best
Western, Marriott, and Accor, give Western visitors more familiar
—India. If you’ve always thought of India as a destination reserved for
backpackers, spiritual seekers, and guided tour-goers, 2008 is a good
year to rethink that assumption. Tourism infrastructure growth is on
par with China’s rapid expansion, and is turning the country into a
destination that’s more accessible to a wider range of travelers.
—Liverpool. The city once known primarily as the birthplace of the
Beatles has come into its own as a European city packed with
sophisticated cultural pursuits and rich history. Liverpool has been
preparing for its time in the spotlight since it was named a European
Capital of Culture for 2008 five years ago. The highly coveted Capital
of Culture designation earns cities the chance to feature and expand
their thriving art and cultural offerings, and gives visitors an entire
year of special events and festivals to enjoy.
Additionally, SmarterTravel notes a few other cities and countries to
keep on the travel radar for the coming year: Quebec City; Queretaro,
Mexico; St. Maarten; and Stavanger, Norway.