Editor’s Notes

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This month in Recommend’s Hot Destinations & Tours issue, we highlight travel hotspots around the world that our editors deem to be the destinations to send your clients in 2013. The Recommend editorial team handpicked each destination and reached out to USTOA tour operators to get their impressions on the destinations’ “wow factors” and to get a little taste of the itineraries they each offer. It’s all perfectly detailed in order, we hope, to make your job a bit more seamless.

Our cover feature, Myanmar (page 16)—which was also a top pick in last year’s editors’ hot list issue—is still the talk of the town. Everyone who’s “been there, done that” wants to make their way to this Asian gem of a country, with its ancient stupas and mesmerizing landscapes. Why? Because as Nico Zenner, president of Brendan Vacations, says, “Myanmar is definitely one of those destinations that is somewhat inspiring and will create buzz because it’s been off limits.”

Another destination that has plenty of tongues wagging is Colombia (page 42), showcasing some of the most beautiful cities in South America (think Cartagena) and a culture that loves to live it up. Our Latin America editor, Carla Hunt, recently made her way there for TravelMart Latin America 2012, and says that, “Since mid-decade, tourism has been rising at a double-digit percentage pace as this close-by country, with improved security countrywide, a greatly enhanced infrastructure and a major campaign of image building, has become tourism’s comeback-kid in South America.”

And then there’s Hawaii, which has never really lost its Midas touch. It’s one of those iconic destinations that just screams “vacation paradise.” Our Asia/South Pacific editor, Sergio Ortiz, visited two separate Hawaiian islands this year: the Big Island and Oahu, and his report from the “front lines” of Hawaii tourism indicates that this is still going to be one of the “coolest” destinations to send your clients to next year and the year after. In fact, in Virtuoso’s Travel Dreams 2012 survey, readers chose the Hawaiian Islands as the number one “Most Wanted Island Escapes” destination. No wonder then, as Sergio writes in his piece on page 50, that “more than 4.6 million U.S. visitors arrived in Hawaii, staying an average of 10 days [in 2011] alone.”

Sergio actually had quite a busy year, grabbing another plane to Tanzania (page 57), which Moira Smith of Goway Travel calls “an iconic African destination. No other destination in the world offers such incredible diversity of game viewing opportunities. And the names of the destinations within Tanzania say it all: Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro and Selous.…”

If you want to find out which destinations the Recommend editors are hoping to jet off to in 2013, check out the masthead—Paris anyone? Which destination are you planning to visit or which destination do you think is a must-visit in 2013 and are sure to send your clients to? Drop me a line at paloma@worthit.com.

online offerings

Check out edu.recommend.com, which got a complete overhaul and is currently in beta. Want to become a Florida Destination Weddings & Honeymoons specialist? This is the place to do it. Other offerings on the all-new site include the launch of the Chile specialist program, as well as the re-launched St. Vincent & the Grenadines specialist program. And if you want to see more images to go along with some of the stories in this issue, then head on over to
recommend.com, where you’ll find Sergio’s photo essays on Tanzania and Aulani, A Disney
Resort & Spa. Want to hang out with me in the social world—follow me @Paloma_RecMag. And you can join the conversation with your peers on facebook.com/recommendmag or by following us @Recommendmag.


In the October issue, in the “A Villa Vacation in Europe” article we misspelled Jill A. Jergel’s name—our apologies. And in “Update: More on Luxury Private Island Resorts” we provided the incorrect contact information for Cotton House. The correct website is cottonhouse.net.