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Botswana, Myanmar Among Emerging Destinations For Travelers In 2016

David Schenfeld
An elephant silhouetted against the sunset in Botswana, where you can see elephant herds and other wildlife in Chobe National Park.

In the world of global tourism there are the old standbys – global capitals that have been captivating visitors for decades. But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says there are some emerging destinations that could see more travelers in the new year.


The Southeast Asian country – still officially called Burma by the U.S. government – has long been a hotbed of political instability. A new parliament is set to be seated on Feb. 1, with a former political prisoner taking a leadership role. And U.S. economic sanctions have been lifted as political reforms have taken hold. Now, visitors are showing up to see cities like Yangon and Mandalay, as well as ancient sites and stunning geography.


Security concerns in more tourist-heavy African nations such as Kenya have shifted travelers’ focus, Brumley says. Many are now looking here for travel. Wildlife abounds in ChobeNational Park, which includes some of the world’s largest elephant herds.


We might call this one a “re-emerging” destination. Ecuador has always been a go-to for people wanting to see the Galapagos Islands. But in recent years, tourism has grownin the capital city Quito, which boasts one of the largest colonial old-towns in South America. Mountains, rain forests and more are here.

By the way, there are a lot of lists for emerging travel destinations. Here’s one. Oh, and another. And one more.

So, where are you headed this year? Tell us in the comments below.


“Going Places” is KPLU’s weekly exploration of travel topics. Matthew Brumley is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including KPLU.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.