Sri Lanka Has Been Named the Number One Country to Visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet
The island nation has taken the top spot on the annual travel destination list.
The world is a big place. Making decisions is stressful. Choosing a place to holiday is hard. But if you're really in a bind — or a standoff with your holiday partner — Lonely Planet's latest travel list might be able to help you lock in your next destination.
The travel publication has just released its annual Best in Travel list. Topping the list for the best country to visit in 2019 is Sri Lanka. This might not come as much of a shock — if you haven't already been yourself, you most likely have mates that have been over there on a surf trip, to hike through the tea fields or to visit family. According to Lonely Planet's editors, the island nation was given its number one place due to its "mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene" and its affordable nosh.
It recommends catching some surf at Arugam Bay, kayaking through the lagoons of Marakolliya Beach, catching the scenic train to Ella, getting some culture in Kandy and visiting the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura.
Sri Lanka is still in relative infancy when it comes to tourism; the country's civil war only ended ten years ago, but tourism continues to grow at a rapid rate. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority estimates that the number of tourist arrivals has grown from 448,000 in 2009 when the civil war ended to over two million in 2017. This has seen major hotel chains scramble to open properties in Sri Lanka and improved access to parts of the country that were previously harder to access. Lonely Planet calls it a "country revived" and, we predict, one that's likely to change rapidly with the fast growing tourism industry.
Other countries on the list include Germany — which is set to score new museums in 2019 — as well as Zimbabwe, Panama and another new tourist spot, Kyrgyzstan. Unlike last year when New Zealand was ranked number five on the best countries list and Canberra came in as the third best city, neither Australia nor NZ made it onto the lists.
Published on November 04, 2018 by Lauren Vadnjal