Bali’s over, and this new list confirms it
For years, Bali has been the default destination for Australian travellers - but if you've had an inkling change was afoot, you'd be right.
There's a new island of sun, sand and surf taking the world by storm - Sri Lanka.
The island country has been rapidly rising up the tourism charts since 2009, following the end of a decades-long civil war.
And now it's been named the world's No.1 destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet.
With its beach scene, lush countryside, intriguing culture, affordable prices and welcoming locals, Sri Lanka has been likened to the Bali of a bygone era.
And new direct flights, hotels and tours have seen it emerge as a growing drawcard for Aussie travellers in recent years.
"Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived," says Lonely Planet in its Best in Travel 2019 edition.
"There's now more than ever for families, adrenaline junkies, eco-tourists, wellness seekers and foodies of all budgets."
Getting around the country is now easier than ever, with new road and rail services having opened. "Destinations that once required determination and endurance to reach are now a comfortable ride away," the Lonely Planet listing says.
Although Sri Lanka took out the No.1 spot, Bali isn't completely ignored in the Lonely Planet edition.
Indonesia is ranked as the world's seventh best destination for 2019, but the publisher recommends travelling beyond its most touristed island to explore more remote areas such as Raja Ampat, Sumatra, Borneo and Komodo.
Several Australian destinations also rated a mention, with the Red Centre named among the best regions to visit in 2019, The Tasman in Hobart listed as one of the world's best new places to stay, and Victoria picking up two gongs with restaurant Laura named one of the world's best new food experiences and Live Wire Park on the Great Ocean Road one of the best new attractions for kids.
LONELY PLANET'S TOP 10 COUNTRIES FOR 2019:
1. Sri Lanka
9. Sao Tome and Principe
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2019 is out now, RRP $27.99. See lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel
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