The approach of the end of the year means many things, including that it's list time. The media is making lists to sum up 2009 and to predict what will happen in 2010. Conde Nast Traveler has gone the prediction route with The 2010 It List, which crowns the 10 new hot spots for next year. As I looked at the list (which includes Venice, pictured above), I was pleased to see that I covered several of them this year on Travelogged.
Here's a post on Melissa Fernandez's four-day trip to Marrakech, where she ate alongside the locals at the night food markets in the Djamaa El Fna. CNT says Marrakech made the list because a lot of high-end hotels are opening up in 2010, but Melissa stayed at the very nice Le Meridien N’Fis and loved the huge pool and extensive gardens.
OK, CNT has got me here. I can't even pronounce this place. But CNT calls it "the Switzerland of Central Asia" and it looks like an amazing destination for an off-the-beaten path ski trip if you have the money to burn.
OK, so I don't have this one either. CNT seems to think that Vancouver has never been better as it's gotten all spruced up for the Olympics. Sounds pretty good to me!
Guest blogger Jeremy Willinger wrote two posts about his trip to Burma this past summer. He found the country to have amazing sights but warned that it's for adventurous travelers only. Yangon/Rangoon, the capital city, features gold-topped temples but not regular electricity or trash pickup. The countryside featured a similar contrast of cultural riches against poverty. CNT seems to have similar views, noting that Burma is going to become a more popular destination now that the dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi is actively encouraging tourism.
I spent a few days in Venice in July, doing the only-in-Venice things like taking a gondola ride, strolling around Piazza San Maroc at night and searching for the Bienniale. With most of the well-preserved Italian cities, you can say "at least it's not going anywhere," but supposedly Venice is slowly sinking so you better go sooner rather than later. However, that's not why it's a CNT hot spot for 2010. CNT says there a lot of high-design hotels arriving on the scene, include Phillipe Starck's Palazzina Grazzi.
I think Antarctica is the ultimate trophy destination — nothing says you've seen it all quite like Antarctica. I'm sure it's an amazing experience but it seems a bit too cold for my taste. I am considering going to Banff in January, which also may be a bit too cold for my taste. But at least it's warmer than Antarctica, right?!
In April, I blogged about the announcement that the US was relaxing travel restrictions to Cuba. But for the average American who doesn't have familial ties to Cuba, a trip there still seems out of reach. In October, the New York Philharmonic canceled what would have been its first-ever concert in Cuba because the band's supporters who wanted to accompany them were denied visas. So I'm not ready to believe that Cuba is going to be a hot spot for Americans in 2010. But then again, perhaps CNT knows something I don't…
8. Sri Lanka
I haven't given Sri Lanka a single thought but according to CNT it's time to start thinking. The civil war ended in May and the country is ready for intrepid travelers willing to stay in luxurious resorts.
My friend Rebecca Webber went to Cartagena, Colombia, for five days in May and shared her thoughts on the walled city on the Caribbean on Travelogged. I definitely agree with CNT that "Colombia is becoming Latin America's hottest destination." I feel like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about how great Colombia is. Jet Blue now flies to Bogota and believe me, I'm tempted!
10. South Africa
Seeing South Africa on the CNT list is making me feel guilty that I have not gone after my friends who have honeymooned there to write something for Travelogged. But CNT does not have South Africa there for it's honeymoon prowess but rather because it's the site of the 2010 World Cup for soccer. South Africa is ready for it's close-up.
So, I've covered some but not all of destinations on Conde Nast Traveler's 2010 It List. Luckily I have more than a full year to complete the rest. If anyone has recently been to or has plans to visit Kyrgyzstan, Vancouver, Antartica or Sri Lanka, please let me know so I can feature your trip on the blog! Or better yet, invite me to tag along…