Why is The New York Times Travel Show one of the largest trade and consumer travel events in North America? Well, let’s take a quick look at the numbers of the 10th annual tourism showcase, held Jan. 23-25, under the banner of 150 Countries, One Destination. On hand were 500+ exhibitor booths from across the globe; 20K+ travelers and industry professional attendees; 150+ travel industry speakers and experts; and 100+ cultural presentations from a round the world.
Tucked into the program of this colorful, 3-day travel show—complete with costumed dancers from Indonesia, Belizean Garifuna drummers, Lithuanian folk music, and Bahamian classics sung by Kamilah Gibson, as well as tastes of the world from savoring the Turkish table to sipping South Africa wine with Travel Sommelier’s Darren Humpreys—were seminars focused on top travel destination trends and picks for 2015.
Without a doubt, the buzz was all about “going back” to Cuba, to Egypt, and to Myanmar. However, this attendee found Fodor’s Go Travel List for 2015 full of a nice variety of less-trumpeted, client-pleasing places—a mix of “emerging” countries, affordable escapes, buzzy hip spots and travel-worthy events. The seminar was presented by Arabella Bowen, editor-in-chief of Fodor Guide Books. See what you think:
- Hudson Valley, NY—The relaxed affordable alternative to New York City, filled with world-class cuisine, quaint towns, outdoor adventure, a blooming arts scene and hipster charm.
- Louisville and Bourbon Country, KY—Here’s a wallet-friendly weekend getaway for Bourbon lovers and dedicated foodies.
- Jackson Hole, WY—New direct air routes from 13 cities on Delta and United make getting to the country’s top ski resort a breeze.
- Cleveland, OH—Rust-belt chic for art and culture vultures, basketball fans and stalwart foodies.
- Florida Panhandle—Enjoy the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. and refreshing Southern hospitality.
- Guadelupe Valley—Responsible for some 90 percent of Mexico’s wine production, come here to enjoy a gorgeous valley of vineyards, the wine they produce, and farm-to-table restaurants.
- Newfoundland—Canada’s easternmost province has stark and beautiful landscapes, quaint lighthouses, memorable wildlife and unparalleled hospitality.
- Barbados—The Caribbean’s most ‘British’ island is a sophisticated tropical paradise with a rich history and lodgings to suit every taste.
- Iceland—Just a 6-hour flight from New York City, here’s an other-worldly natural wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts, plus great nightlife to boot.
- Norway—This gorgeous Scandinavian country is a real-life watery kingdom just waiting to be explored.
- Pilsen, Czech Republic—One of the largest beer-making cities in the world and a 2015 European Capital of Culture, with a full calendar of very special happenings.
- Romania—Towering castles, ancient abbeys and walled-in villages make history come alive in beautiful settings.
- Piedmont, Italy—Medieval villages and vineyards characterize this hilly wine country—recently granted UNESCO status: get there before the crowds do.
- Paris—The City of Light buzzes with new sights and luxury hotels reopening, such as the Ritz and the Crillon.
Mexico, Central & South America
- Guatemala—Colorful colonial-era towns, thrilling volcanic landscapes and mysterious ruins are treasures to come for.
- Punta del Este, Uruguay—A flashy but affordable hotspot with some of South America’s best beaches and a growing culture scene.
- Patagonia, Chile—This stunning region’s natural wonders have never been more accessible and amenities more comfortable.
- Singapore—Asia’s cultural melting pot celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2015.
- Silk Road—Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo to explore China’s oldest trade route, which includes many of the country’s most dramatic sites and landscapes; the starting point of the 3,107-mile route is Xian, which gained UNESCO status in 2014.
- Vietnam—Come for the historic but fast-changing cities and stunning landscapes and fabulous food.
- Sri Lanka—A small country, rich in beaches, heritage sites and spicy curries, welcomes tourists again.
- Melbourne, Australia—A town that’s stylish and funky, with stunning Victorian architecture, excellent regional wines and a world-class dining scene.
Emerging Expeditions—Trips of a Lifetime
- The Arctic—For a trip with bragging rights, take a luxury cruise through waters few humans have visited.
- Namibia—A safe desert haven in Southern Africa that pairs sustainable tourism with community outreach.
- Oman—A tiny unexplored country on the Arabian Peninsula offering authentic culture, stunning natural beauty and luxury hospitality.