The self-proclaimed Land of Happiness, a center of natural hot springs and a beloved wine region are among the destinations catching the eyes of meeting and incentive planners this year, according to the new list of Top Emerging Destinations from international destination management company Pacific World. The list, compiled through interviews with destination representatives and survey of government investments in infrastructure and development, was released at the IMEX America convention in Las Vegas, spotlighted five Emerging Destinations the Pacific World team identified as offering authentic and unique experiences increasingly sought out by MICE groups
"Over the past two years, interest in new destinations and unique experiences has increased significantly. This trend in the leisure travel realm is also impacting the incentives and meetings sector," said Selina Sinclair, global managing director of Pacific World, in a statement. "We're closely following government investments in infrastructure and development in order to provide our industry partners with the insights and updates necessary to anticipate which emerging locations will be ready for business events and global incentive travel in the next five to 10 years."
The Emerging Destinations selected were:
- The South Asian kingdom of Bhutan, known as the Land of Happiness, and pioneer of the Gross National Happiness concept, which was recently awarded an Earth Award for its sustainable tourism development.
- Namibia, in southern Africa, offering striking natural attractions including petrified forests, ancient rock engravings and a wealth of natural hot springs.
- Greater Bay Area, South China, a dense urban area along China's southern coast that has a number of megaprojects currently underway that will be appeal to large-scale groups for years to come
- The French city of Bordeaux, best known for its impressive wine industry but which has recently wrapped a 15-year refurbishment project aimed at showcasing it as a modern destination for groups.
- Bodrum, Turkey, an ancient city dating back to the 7th century B.C. and home to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World (as well as plenty of hip cafes, boutique hotels and other modern touches).
For more about these five Emerging Destinations as well as a list of five "Destinations to Look Out For," visit pacificworld.com.