The three most popular places to travel this year may surprise you.
Exotic: Burma. A tourism boycott was lifted last year that has already made it the “No. 1 emerging destination” pick by the U.S. Tour Operators Association. www.myanmar-tourism.com
(Runner Up: Israel and Mediterranean)
U.S.: Florida. Most beaches, such as Pensacola and Melbourne, will see a slight increase in visitors. Key West and Miami will remain popular. Orlando and St. Augustine will definitely see an uptick in tourism. For Orlando, it is thanks to its new attractions: Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins at SeaWorld and Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios (not to mention themajor makeover of FantasyLand at DisneyWorld). In St. Augustine, it will be due to the “Viva Florida 500” celebration. www.visitflorida.com
(Runners Up: New York and Las Vegas).
Europe: Ireland. Tourism officials have been hyping their GATHERING, which is a celebration of all things Gaelic. This is expected to bring many visitors to the Emerald Isle. www.thegatheringireland.com
(Runner Up: Italy)
Some interesting statistics (according to USA Today/Gallop Poll):
75% of Americans plan to vacation at least 100 miles from home this year (up 60% from last year).
80% of Americans plan to travel more this year than last year.
94% will vacation in the U.S., most likely at a lake or beach or roadtrip or national park visit.
36% will be traveling where a passport is required.