Top ten up-and-coming destinations

The top three emerging destinations for 2012 may surprise you: Sudan, Greenland and Mongolia.

Voted as top up-and-coming destinations in a recent survey, the unlikely locations are part of a list of ten.

As part of this years Readers’ Travel Awards, Wanderlust’s poll found a number of unexpected destinations on traveller’s wish lists. Including destinations that have seen recent political and social turbulence; Tajikistan, Pakistan, the Cook Islands, Taiwan, Lebanon and Fiji.

In last place was Iran, a destination it’s hard to imagine many tourists choosing to visit as tensions with the West continue.

However Wanderlust said that many adventure travel agents have already added some of these places to there lists. 

Editor in chief Lyn Hughes said: ‘The travel map is rapidly changing and our readers are certainly ahead of the crowd voting for some really unlikely destinations in the “emerging” category.

‘I totally agree with Sudan at top place in this category. I was lucky enough to discover this first-hand last year and experience its warm welcome, layers of history and few tourists. With more pyramids than Egypt it is a one to watch for the future especially as South Sudan opens up too.’

Also revealed the top ten countries to visit, Japan was high on the list despite last year’s natural disaster. New Zealand made third place and Burma in fourth despite being under an iron rule.

Other surprising destinations also made the top places to visit including Cambodia and Rwanda both have had troubled pasts.

Namibia, Laos, Madagascar and Argentina were also in the top ten as holidaymakers hunt for something different when travelling abroad.

Second place saw the peaceful Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, a stark contrast to the rest of the top ten.

Hughes added: ‘If done responsibly, visiting countries after a disaster can be hugely beneficial for them. I really hope these results are indicative of support these areas will receive from travellers as they get back on their feet.’

Top cities to visit included Luang Prabang in Laos, followed by Japan’s Kyoto and Italy’s Siena.