Frommer’s lists Top Destinations for 2010

Frommer’s has just released their list of what they think will be the top destinations for 2010. Culled from the suggestions of industry insiders and readers, the list covers every continent, meandering from India to Hawaii, Argentina to Vietnam. Along with listing each place, Frommer’s has also given reasons why each one should be on your list of destinations for the coming year.

How accurate is the list? Last year, the top destinations predicted for 2009 included Washington, DC; Cartagena, Colombia; Istanbul; Cape Town; and Berlin, all of which were popular with tourists, as they have been for several years. Including Berlin may have been a no-brainer. As the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall took place this year, of course the city would be well-visited. Other locations predicted to be hotspots have remained in relative obscurity. How many people do you know who went to Waiheke Island (New Zealand) or followed the Civil Rights Trail in Alabama?

2010’s list will probably be equally hit and miss when it comes to predicting the hot spots for the year. Included on the list is the Big Island of Hawaii, which I recently visited. Frommer’s says the Big Island has everything you need but still retains an untouched feel, and I completely agree.

But other destinations might not rise to the top of many travelers’ lists. Frommer’s says Mexico City will be big in 2010, but unfortunately the city may still suffer from the after-effects of swine flu paranoia. Cuba, another location on the list, isn’t open to Americans yet, but may see an increase in tourists from other countries. And lesser-known destinations, like Kerala, India; Tunisia; and the Isles of Scilly in England may see a boost in tourism thanks to the publicity they receive from the list.

** Be sure to check out Gadling’s picks for the top adventure destinations for 2010. **



High-tech bridge to connect Singapore’s Sentosa Island

Construction began Tuesday on a 620 meter boardwalk that will connect Sentosa Island with Singapore’s mainland.

The resort’s annual 5 million guests will be able to access the island on foot come November 2010. A series of covered travelators will be capable of transporting an estimated 8,000 guests per hour in each direction.

The boardwalk will be lined with retail, food and beverage outlets and be divided into five garden theme areas – mangrove, rock garden, terrain / hill, coastal flora and rainforest.

The development is expected to cost USD $48.6 million, and will accomodate a surge in visitors next year when Resorts World at Sentosa opens. The island currently features two five-star hotels, two golf courses, and will be home to Universal Studios Singapore when it opens in early 2010.

And if all that isn’t enough to pique your interest, then maybe our list of Summer festivals in Singapore will.

More tech specs can be viewed via the Sentosa Leisure Group’s official press release.

South Africa Gearing Up for World Cup…Maybe.

In a little less than 2 years, South Africa will become the only country on its continent to ever host the FIFA World Cup. That is, unless FIFA decides that the country is unprepared and moves the world’s most watched soccer tournament to one of the alternate locations it has already selected. There are concerns about stadiums and infrastructure projects being completed on time. South Africa has announced that a stadium in Port Elizabeth will not be fully constructed by the time a major tune-up tournament is slated to be played there next summer. In addition, the country is plagued by power outages and high crime rates.

But South Africa seems unconcerned and claims that everything will be ready well before the first shot on goal. To promote themselves to travelers, the country’s tourist organization is beginning a major PR push on the BBC World Services Network. The campaign will include television commercial, documentary-style vignettes about destinations in South Africa and an online, user-generated travel guide. It remains to be seen if these efforts will help the country’s image. It could all be undone if FIFA pulls the plug on South Africa 2010.

Could Shanghai Show Up Beijing?

Beijing was in the world spotlight earlier this year when it hosted the Olympics. In 2010, it will be Shanghai‘s turn when it houses the World Expo. Despite not enjoying the media attention of the Olympics or FIFA World Cup, World Expos, a.k.a. World’s Fairs, have been held for over 100 years and hold a certain degree of cultural clout. Contingents of many nations come to showcase their industry and culture to the world. Chicago and London were both famous hosts of early World’s Fairs. Zaragoza, Spain had the 2008 version, which wrapped up last month after a 60 day run.

Shanghai is set for a bit more spotlight than Zaragoza, though. The ’10 World Expo will run for six months (May-October) and is expected to draw the largest number of visitors of any such event in history. They’ll have to beat 50 million attendees, the number set by Montreal in 1967.

But it isn’t about the numbers, really. Beijing got its chance in the spotlight with the Olympics. But Shanghai is China’s largest, most modern and wealthiest city. It is well on its way to regaining some of the glory it had as East Asia’s cultural heart in the 1920s. Many people consider Shanghai the only truly modern metropolis in the PRC. Its buildings, culture and economic power back up that hypothesis; as do features like a glut of modern architecture and one of the world’s largest subways. While the cameras won’t be trained on Shanghai for the entire 6 months, the city will have a chance to show that it is, in many ways, the face of modern China.