One of the most often-asked questions I get about travel is what is the next global hot spot. Different variables come into play in determining what makes a location suddenly “hot”. For instance, after “The Lord of the Rings”, New Zealand took center stage of places to visit. Croatia has been hot hot hot for several years, and this was even before “Game of Thrones” started filming.
Largely it was due to yachting culture, as island-hoppers discovered the beautiful costal towns of Dubrovnik and Hvar (not islands, but still), and you know how it goes: the rich and famous start spreading the word that Hvar, Croatia is the place to be, and then voila!
A destination can also become a global hot spots for niche interests. For instance Peru had been a popular destination for decades due to Machu Picchu, but when Lima’s culinary scene started to really take off and became known throughout the world, foodies from around the world took notice of Peru as having much more to offer than Machu Picchu. Speaking of niche travel, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Florianopolis became especially popular for the gay community after the dance club, “The Week” revolutionized the gay club scene in Brazil. Of course people flock to Brazil for its beaches, food, and beautiful people, but these clubs were so sexy and innovative, boasting swimming pools, the best DJs, and state-of-the-art sound systems, that gay men from around the world prioritized Brazil on their travel schedules.
Sometimes a fabulous new hotel can give a city its cache, such as in the case of the Faena Hotel and Universe in Buenos Aires.
So all of this brings me to my prediction for the next global travel hot spot: Cambodia. Kind of like Machu Picchu in Peru, for years people have visited Cambodia mainly to experience the ancient Angkor compound, and with good reason: it’s spectacular. However, hotels, resorts, and famous chefs have taken notice and have started much investment into this incredible country. On my last visit to Cambodia, I met several people who were touring the country with no plan to visit Angkor at all. I was astounded, but in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Every year the restaurant offerings throughout Cambodia have gotten better and better, and the hotels are these days truly magnificent. There is a new resort being built in Cambodia that is supposed to be the most expensive property in SouthEast Asia!
You heard it here first, and I predict you will start hearing about it even more now. Cambodia is hot hot hot.