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Lonely Planet’s best places to travel in 2021 revealed

Kazakhstan won for the Best Accommodation in the Community category.

Lonely Planet has unveiled its long-awaited Best in Travel list for 2021 and it is unlike anything they have done before — fitting for a year that has been unprecedented.

Taking into account the present coronavirus pandemic, the world’s leading travel media brand has reinvented its 2021 awards to recognise how our planet has changed. 

Gothenburg, Sweden, was crowned the Best City Stay in the Sustainability category.

Rather than releasing lists of the best countries, cities and regions, the 2021 offering is split into three new categories: Best in Sustainability, Best in Community and Best in Diversity.

This new reimagined list celebrates the incredible people, places and businesses making a transformative contribution to travel in unprecedented times.

Palau in the Pacific Ocean won the Best Island title in the Sustainability category.

“Travel in 2021 and beyond will be a much more considerate exercise than it has been ever before,” said Lonely Planet CEO Luis Cabrera.  

“With travellers cautiously re-engaging with the world and focusing on ensuring their impact is safe and positive for host communities, we have decided to highlight destinations and individuals that truly enable visitors to make genuine contributions through regenerative travel.”

Amman in Jordan won the Best Welcoming Destination award in the Diversity section for its famed hospitality.

Some of the highlights from the list include:

  • Gothenburg, Sweden, which was crowned the best sustainable city stay
  • Greece, adjudged the best food destination for its organic produce
  • Kazakhstan, which won best accommodation in the Community category, courtesy its rural homestays
  • Jordan’s capital Amman, which won the Best Welcoming Destination prize
  • Palau, bestowed with the best sustainable island title
  • Faroe Islands, recognised as the best immersive experience for its home-hospitality tourism and measures to preserve the natural landscape
 Faroe Islands won for the best immersive experience in the Community category.

In a departure from previous years, people and business establishments were feted for their conscious contributions too. Some of these were: 

  • Soraya Abdel-Hadi, whose The blog and social media channels combine a love of travel with a desire to protect the Earth
  • The luxurious, low-impact Grootberg lodge in Namibia helping preserve lion and black rhino populations
  • Hesham Moadamani, a Berlin-based tour guide for Refugee Voices Tours
  • Hiakai restaurant, Wellington, New Zealand, which won the Best Indigenous Food title for its Māori-Samoan cuisine


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