(CNN) – It’s never too early to start planning next year’s big trips.
National Geographic joins the expedition and publishes its list of the best in the world at the end of October, with 25 primary destinations for 2023.
Respect – for people and their cultures, for the land and its preservation – is an overarching theme in the list, which is divided into five formal categories.
The hope is that 2023 will not only be a great return to travel, but also a rediscovery of wonders, said Amy Alibeo, Senior Editor at National Geographic Travel.
“Because when you feel intimidated by something, you treat it with respect. And that spirit is something we want to foster through this list,” Alibio said.
The list focuses on destinations that have community-led conservation efforts, healing and heritage travel, and ways to give back to travelers, as well as places that do important work in ecotourism, sustainability and inclusive travel.
looking at society
National Geographic introduced a new category to this year’s list, replacing “sustainability” with a broader category of “society.”
“It’s about expanding the focus on people striving to make destinations sustainable and the different ways that manifest, from making travel easier to supporting local businesses,” said Alibeo.
Sustainability is woven a little more into each category. The other four categories are Nature, Culture, Adventure, and Family.
The five destinations included in the ‘Community’ category represent a number of strengths.
Ghana is listed as a major destination for travelers of black heritage in West Africa.
Alberta, Canada, is also on the list.
“They were pioneers in indigenous tourism, making travelers aware of the stories and ways of First Nations life here in North America” and their vibrant contemporary cultures, said Alibio.
In Laos, a new high-speed train is easing visitors into the country and providing economic opportunities for local residents.
The Great Lakes city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, made the list in part because it was “really supportive of its creative community,” said Alibio, citing Bronzeville, which is opening a cultural center focused on African-American art.
And in the Greek Dodecanese Islands, Karpathos is distinguished by its female-led sustainable tourism.
Big Slots, Small Crowds
The list is not without some great new attractions. The much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum outside Cairo enters the 2023 list in the “Culture” category. Charleston, South Carolina, will soon house the International African American Museum, which opens in January.
Existing US wildlife falls into two categories, with an emphasis on getting away from the crowds.
Utah, where five national parks are a big draw, appears in the “adventure” category in part for its efforts to direct tourists to some of the lesser-known areas to combat overtourism.
Visit Utah has a page dedicated to Responsible travel It asks visitors to think about its impact with questions such as “Do I do what I can to avoid crowded places?” The State parkssuch as Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley, are located near one or more of Utah’s five great national parks.
Big Bend National Park in Texas is listed in the “Nature” category. Although Big Bend It received 581,000 views, a record In 2021, the parks remained much less visited than some of the most well-known national parks in the United States. Yellowstone received 4.9 million visitors and Smoky Mountains National Park received 14.1 million recreational visits in 2021.
Slovenia, a “long-time pioneer in sustainable tourism”, combines cycling routes with visits to vineyards, cheese factories and other food producers in a way that makes it a place in the “nature” category with the added advantage of cooking.
The Scottish Highlands, Portugal’s dazzling volcanic Azores archipelago, and Botswana also make the “nature” list for their conservation and sustainability efforts.
Family, adventure and culture
Columbia was in the spotlight with Disney’s “Encanto,” making it the right choice for the “Family” category. In California, the Crosstown Trail in San Francisco is another perfect place for a family adventure.
Speaking of “adventure,” this category also includes the Choquequirao region of Peru, an Inca site rivaling Machu Picchu that is becoming more accessible and accessible and spurs economic development.
And New Zealand, the adventure capital for a long time, makes the list as enthusiasm grows for the return of travel.
The Austrian Alps also offer great opportunities for adventure within the Bergsteigerdörfer network of 29 mountain villages.
Asia, which took the longest to recover from the pandemic, ranks high in the “culture” category. Busan, in South Korea, appears in the category of shows, from craft beer to Asia’s premiere film festival.
Although China remains closed to international tourism, the Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province also make it onto the “culture” list, as new technology draws attention to one of the world’s largest collections of stone statues.
To learn more about National Geographic’s list of the best in the world, Visit their website.
National Geographic’s list of the best 2023 in the world:
- Appian Road, Italy
- Busan, South Korea
- Longmen Grottoes, Henan Province, China
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Scottish Highlands
- Big Bend National Park, Texas
- Azores, Portugal
- New Zealand
- Choquequirao, Peru
- Austrian Alps
- Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico
- Dodecanese Islands, Greece
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Alberta, Canada
- Trinidad and Tobago
- San Francisco Road, California
- Manchester, United Kingdom
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