It’s hard to get anyone to agree on anything these days, but it seems that some of the world’s top travel writers, and the influential publications they write for, have all agreed on one destination as the best for 2017. An entire country. In fact: Canada.
Yes, America’s cousin to the North has been voted as the top destination of 2017 by The New York Times, Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler, citing its natural beauty, rich level of experiences for its 150th birthday and weak dollar as the reasons to visit. Australians seem to know this already, however, with the amount of visitors increasing by 11.8% in the first half of 2016, against the same period in 2015.
Here’s what the New York Times’had to say about their pick:
Canada is huge — the second-largest country by area. It’s also a world unto itself, with cosmopolitan cities, barely explored natural wonders and everything in between. And this is the year to visit: In honor of the 150th anniversary of its confederation, when the original colonies came together as one country, Canada is rolling out the welcome mat. All of the country’s more than 200 national parks and historic sites are offering free admission through the year, from the turquoise lakes and mountain peaks of Banff in Alberta to the rolling dunes and red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island along the Atlantic Coast to the newest reserve, the glacial-rounded Mealy Mountains in Labrador. Meanwhile, in the capital, Ottawa, a full year of celebration is planned; more events will be on offer in Montreal, which turns 375. And did we mention the exchange rate? A weak Canadian dollar means American travelers get more for their money. So 2017 offers an ideal time to go north.
It should be mentioned that the Australian dollar also remains equally weak against the Canadian dollar – in fact we’re basically at parity (while we’ve dipped some 30% against the USA over the last few years), so your dollar is going to go far in the great north. The Atacama Desert in Chile sits at the number 2 spot on the same New York Times list, and Agra, India is number 3. The Lonely Planet, meanwhile, had this to say when nominating Canada as their number one pick of Countries to visit in 2017:
Bolstered by the wave of positivity unleashed by its energetic new leader Justin Trudeau, and with dynamic cities that dominate global livability indices and a reputation for inclusiveness and impeccable politeness, the world’s second-largest country will usher in its sesquicentennial in 2017 in rollicking good health. Marking 150 years since confederation, the elongated birthday party promises to be heavy on bonhomie and highly welcoming to international gatecrashers. And, with a weak Canadian dollar pushing down prices, the overseas visitor should have plenty of pocket money to spend on Canada’s exciting fusion food and mysteriously underrated wine.
Indeed, the 150th Birthday of Canada will cause plenty of celebration around the country this year, especially around Canada Day (July 1st). Columbia sat at number two on the Lonely Planet list, and Finland is third.
And finally on the list from Condé Nast Traveler, “The Best Places to Travel in 2017” were named out and once again Canada – yes, the entire country – topped the list. Here’s what Meredith Carey had to say about the entry.
It’s the Great White North’s 150th birthday, and Canadians have graciously invited us to celebrate. Start by signing up for the free Discovery pass that gives anyone (not just Canadians) free entry into all of its national parks in 2017—we’re eyeing Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan or Point Pelee National Park near Ontario. But Canada’s cities are truly having a moment. Montreal is redefining itself as a food city worth the flight (it’s only an hour in the air from NYC). Toronto is taking the Iceland approach and encouraging travelers to extend their layover via AirCanada’s new free up-to-seven-day stay. And the Rocky Mountaineer, a train that winds from Vancouver to Jasper without Wi-Fi, might just be the world’s best tech detox.
So there you have it. Canada. 2017. Make the trip.