|Written by Lauren Gumbs
|TUESDAY, 18 JUNE 2013
The emergence of the growing Asian middle classes has seen an increase in theme parks. Indonesia is no exception. New lifestyles marked by patterns of consumption have made the proliferating amusement venues profitable and attractive as recreation goals with attendance hitting 108.7 million people in 2012.
Indonesia’s theme parks tend to be hybrids, combinations of themes and attractions. These can be bewildering mixtures of animal enclosures and educational exhibits with a sudden rollercoaster or water slides appearing. Some even have hotels attached like the big Western models.
These hybrid parks are common in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. The Singapore Zoo for example, includes a Kidsworld amusement park within the zoo.
These impressive modern parks have endless variety; Park Jatim 1 in Batu East Java, is a museum/ zoo/ theme park/ amusement park. Park Jatim 2, also in Batu, is an educational museum/ waterpark/ theme park. Another Batu offering, the Eco Park, is a museum/ bird zoo/ amusement park. Even the famous Taman Safari near to Surabaya combines attractions as a zoo safari/ theme park/ amusement park.
Many of the designs seen in Indonesia are partly modelled on European or western styles, which are not immune to expressions of ideology within both the architecture and exhibits, particularly in museum or educational components.
In the Indonesian context, the architecture often funnels visitors along an inescapable circuit, with usually an educational element that transfers dominant ideologies to shared public spaces.
Jawa Timur Park 1 in Batu East Java includes a science centre with pictures of the most groundbreaking scientists lining the walls. All the scientists between the years 781- 1288 are Muslim, with several more included in the lead-up to the 20th century.
Apart from framing science’s earliest and ongoing achievements profoundly within the domain of Islam, and obscuring the problem that science conflicts with religion in fundamental areas like evolution, the act of recognizing historical figures outside of a western sphere of consciousness and narrating the triumphs of an exemplary Islamic past is not unsurprising . Their merits, however, are.
Abu Uthman ibn Bahr al Kinami al Fuqaimi in CE781-869 was “The first Muslim scientist who coined the theory of evolution, the foundation stone of the science of zoology, and the biologist first to note changes in bird life through migration”.
It is hard not to see a rivalry between western and eastern thought being ingrained in visiting children and students with the following scientific and historical fact that another Muslim scientist in the 13th century- 1213-1288- was the first to discover the human circulatory system “far before Harvey in 1628″.
In the cultural area, where the diversity of Indonesia is represented through still life displays defined vis-a-vis regional identities, Indonesian ethnic groups with dazzling traditional costumes and impressive artefacts stand in contrast to Papuans who are nearly naked and squatting by primitive huts and fires.
Indonesian theme parks predominantly cater to domestic visitors and tourists, and just as the west represents its multiculturalism and other political ideologies, Indonesian parks are also predisposed to transfer dominant cultural and political subjectivities via educational exhibits and attractions.
School curricula and textbooks can be heavy on ideology such as nationalism or dominant religious views, similarly impressed upon educational areas of theme parks where typically Indonesian subjectivities come through.
Bizarrely, the Eco Park in Batu, which across other eco-themed exhibits cultivates respect for life and interest in the protection of the environment, has a jungle safari adventure that consists of riding a jeep through a jungle with pop-up animal and hunter statues. Laser guns are connected to targets on the pop-ups and points are awarded for killing the hunters, who cry out and fall down dead.
Considering that shooting animals, even fake ones, is off limits by eco-park standards, the excitement of hunting is replicated justifiably: by hunting the hunters. However, the pronouncement that illegal poaching is punishable by death is as disturbing as is the encouragement to participate.
Such exaggerated, hyper-real situations reflect and distort real life, yet the idea can be applied to the broader idea of law and justice in society; that violence is legitimate if employed in the service of a principled idea and carried out by those vested with the power to wield it.
The recruitment of violence in the service of fun is presumably preparation for the ideologies behind a punitive penal system. The four and five year olds present accepted it simply and enthusiastically: “We can kill the baddies that kill the animals?”
Perhaps the most prominently ideological theme park is “Taman Mini Indonesia Indah” in Jakarta. Taman Mini is symbolic of nation-building during the time of Suharto.
It idealizes Pancasila and ‘unity in diversity’ by displaying replicas of all 27 provinces in Indonesia (26 now without Timor Leste).
However, it is only a rural narrative told here, one that captures the vision of a regionally diverse sovereign nation. Chinese culture is absent, as are depictions of urban dwellers like the 10 million living in Jakarta in the 1970s at a time of rapidly rising urbanization.
Taman Mini was not without initial controversy. At a cost of US$26 million in 1971 the project triggered small student demonstrations. Three hundred residents claimed they were forced to move and to sell their land at half the market value.
Michael Hitchcock, director of the International institute for culture, tourism and development at London Metropolitan University, described Taman Mini as contributing to the “folklorization” of Indonesian culture, a key aspect of nation building projects to unify and codify “Indonesia”.
The symbolic import of Taman Mini was not lost on Indonesians.
“With hindsight it would appear significant that the first major open protest against New Order rule should concern a cultural village theme park”.
Hitchcock said New Order propaganda involved an articulate rhetoric of culture in which appeals were made to traditional values and customary behavior. Indeed, the vision of rural life and ethnic diversity is romantically expressed with neat and tidy traditional dwellings and elaborate traditional costumes. Moreover ethnic identities are construed as regional identities—kebudayaan daerah - keeping the specter of the nation close at hand by containing differences within a territorial scope.
Similarly, differences between ethnic groups today are emphasised culturally rather than politically, obscuring assertions of economic and political claims under the constructivism of nationalism.
Theme parks are not always benign educational playgrounds, but also vehicles for dominant interpretations, even inventions, of history and tradition, and the transference of dominant ideologies into public spheres of learning and recreation.
Once entrapped within the entrance gates, visitors are often herded forward with no early escape or shortcut to preferred rides or attractions. Like a conveyor belt in a factory, visitors’ routes are organized; they are guided through exhibits and rides, exposed to norm-engendering educational forces that stamp, shape, and affirm.
Exhausted visitors are ejected at the exit, reeling from activity overload, Disneyesque verisimilitude and the unconscious realization that reality is slightly inferior to reproduction which seems to carry the greater truth value. Indonesian hybrid theme parks are an absorbing mash up of fantasy.
With a one-trillion-dollar economy growing at 6% a year, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest market, and is becoming increasingly attractive to road warriors.
The nation’s overseas and domestic business travel market is in good health due to rising investment and a growing middle class. Business events and commercial interest are spilling out of the capital, Jakarta, and into other major Indonesian cities, with Batam, Bintan, Medan and the island of Bali drawing many executives. And following a regulation mandating that oil, gas and natural resources companies invest in the local area, the expanding energy and pharmaceutical sectors are funding business travel and business events throughout country.
“An oil company operating rigs or vessels in one area needs to book all its travel from local suppliers and not use agents based outside the country,” said Adam Knights, group sales director at ATPi, a travel management company.
In addition, the country will host various Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conferences this year, such as the CEO Summit, the Trade Finance and Treasury Reform meetings.
Indonesia’s economy is predicted to be larger than Germany’s in terms of projected GDP by 2050, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. An additional 100,000 guest rooms will need to be built in the next decade just to cope with demand, translating to an estimated 700 to 800 hotels.
The government forecasts that the number of air passengers, both business and leisure, will increase by 12% this year, after growing by 15% to 72 million passengers in 2012. Flying is one of the easiest ways to get around this archipelago nation of more than 17,000 islands, where rail, ferries and roads are still fairly undeveloped.
If Soekarna-Hatta, Indonesia’s main airport in Jakarta, is anything to gauge by, the country is already overwhelmed by air traffic. The airport handles roughly 150,000 passengers a day – more than double its capacity – and is planning a $2 billion expansion to triple its capacity. The much smaller Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in the east of the city will open to commercial flights in September to help ease the strain.
This is just one of more than 20 projects aimed at building and upgrading Indonesian existing airports, many of which will be located in the east of the country, including East Nusa Tenggara and Papua, according to airline operator Angkasa Pura. This under-developed region has less infrastructure and tourism-focused facilities than the islands of Java and Sumatra to the west.
Singapore Airlines is boosting links to the country by launching a daily flight to Surabaya, the country’s second largest city, on 26 July. In addition, the airline is launching its ninth daily service to Jakarta and its fourth daily service to Denpasar, Bali, on the same day. Tiger Airlines is ramping up its services out of Singapore, launching flights to the cities of Yogyakarta starting in July and Bandung in August.
By Eko Armunanto
Richard Dawkins from The Richard Dawkins Foundation says “It has been suggested that the Komodo dragon is well named as the real-life origin of all our dragon myths, and it is certainly plausible that Chinese sailors would have brought back awestruck tales of them.” They don’t breathe fire but their mouths are so riddled with festering bacteria that one bite is fatal. Their preferred method of hunting is to deliver that fatal bite, then follow the prey around until it dies from the resulting bacterial infection, then eat it.
“They are confined to a handful of Indonesian islands, including Komodo itself and also Flores, home of the recently extinct Homo floresiensis on which they, and an even larger species of giant lizard, now extinct, perhaps preyed (if, that is, H.floresiensis was a real species of miniature human at all),” says Dawkins.
Komodo hunts live prey and are capable of ambushing creatures much larger than themselves. They have a thickly muscled tail and a strong bite. Even a slight graze can be lethal and cause severe infection because of the septic bacteria that live in their saliva. Western scientists verified their existence around 1910, but stories of these fearsome beasts circulated long before that.
Komodo dragons were termed “Prehistoric Monster” back in 1926 after a much publicized expedition to Komodo island of Indonesia, led by William Douglas Burden, resulted in the capture of two live specimens; this expedition inspired one of the most famous movies of all times, King Kong (1933). The movie’s director even wanted to have Komodo dragons in the movie. But this was ultimately not possible and he replaced them with animation. In New York, the giant lizards met a captivated audience.
National Geographic says Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia for millions of years, although amazingly their existence was unknown to humans until about 100 years ago. Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly. Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning. Dragons calmly follow an escapee for miles as the bacteria takes effect, using their keen sense of smell to hone in on the corpse. A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.
Strangely, according to Live Science, the Komodo bite is not deadly to another Komodo. Dragons wounded in battle with their comrades appear to be unaffected by the otherwise deadly venom. Scientists are searching for antibodies in Komodo blood that may be responsible for saving them. They would have been a great candidate for the inspiration behind the mythical dragons in Europe – except that Europeans didn’t discover them until 1910. Scientists now find that Komodo dragons were most likely evolved in Australia and dispersed westward to its current home in Indonesia.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/351891#ixzz2VnMOeLto
Bumping along the road in pony and trap, with children cheerily waving us along the paddy field-lined way, Lombok seems a million miles from its tourist-packed neighbour, Bali.
Marco Polo, our pony, clanks away with pink tassels and bells and we alight at Prawira village. Here locals show us how they filter coconut oil, grow crops and make bamboo ornaments.
The children yell hello and show us their spinning top games. The small Indonesian island of Lombok, between Malaysia in the north-west and Australia to the south-east, has attracted visitors since its new airport opened in 2011.
But its infrastructure is basic and, unlike Bali, there are no taxis, no public telephones, and English is not widely spoken. Perfect for our honeymoon, my husband and I decide.
While traffic is notoriously congested in Bali, there aren’t many cars in Lombok. Scooters whizz by with families clinging on, while others use a pony and trap. Chickens and the occasional tethered cow hang about on the roadside.
We are here at the beginning of the rainy season, but the cooler air is a relief. It is warm enough to sunbathe in the morning before the heavens open for a few hours in the afternoon.
If you don’t fancy the showers, their dry season is from now until September. Though the rain is itself a spectacle. We watch it bounce off roads while sheltering under the canopy of a bar with a cocktail.
Dark falls quickly here after spectacular sunsets, and we dine most nights by candlelight. By day there are trips to Prawira village to nose around its pungent morning market. And boat trips to the beautiful Gilli islands, which you can see hovering on the horizon from the hotel’s beachfront.
From here we snorkel with sea turtles among the coral reefs. Our hotel, The Oberoi, Lombok, even arranges for us to plant coral on the seabed, with a plaque showing our names and the date.
We feel like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on tour. Lombok is a two-hour boat ride or 30-minute flight away from the much better known Bali, and as we are in the area it seems a good reason to compare the two.
The Oberoi, Bali is near the upmarket spas and restaurants of Seminyak, one of the island’s most fashionable and busy spots. Couples, surfers and backpackers flock from the UK, U.S., France and Australia.
Susan Sarandon and David Bowie are among the celebrities who have stayed in our hotel, which has been designed to recreate the atmosphere of a Balinese village, with restaurants serving local food and an amphitheatre.
Some visitors are drawn to Indonesia hoping for an Eat Pray Love experience. As newly marrieds we’ve got the love part sorted, but it’s easy to see why people describe the islands as spiritual, too.
Lombok is predominantly Muslim and we hear the daily call to prayer from our terrace, while Bali’s population is mainly Hindu. Outdoor temples such as nearby Pura Petitenget are made up of small courtyards with statues of gods and altars covered in black-and-white checked cloth.
The check — kain poleng — symbolises the Balinese belief that the world is composed of opposing forces. Both islands share the same friendliness, but for us, Lombok has the edge. Quieter roads, cleaner beaches and fewer people. When you can relax in such unspoilt beauty, what’s not to love?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2332634/Indonesia-holidays-Lombok-hassle-free-honeymoon-Balis-calmer-neighbour.html#ixzz2Ujt4wPCd
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The Unique and Flavorful Coffee was Praised by Jack Nicholson’s Character in the Movie ‘The Bucket List’
Indonesia, with all its fascinating wonders in over 17,000 islands, has been chosen among the top seven dream destinations in the world.
The largest online social travel network WAYN (Where Are You Now) through its website has recently revealed the top seven dream destinations as chosen by its 21 million users worldwide.
Indonesia came 4th in the competition, outranking Brazil, India, and Turkey, while South Africa took first position followed by Fiji, and Dubai.
The nominated destinations (both cities and countries) were selected by employing a combination of market research data and tracking user engagement on WAYN.com. WAYN’s 21 million users voted for their favorite destination out of the seven listed, with prizes up for grabs for those who vote, in the period of two weeks starting from 3rd April. Additionally, each nominee received US$70,000 of marketing promotion globally, out of a US$500,000 marketing contribution from Where Are You Now? Ltd.
Comprising 17,504 large and small tropical islands fringed with white sandy beaches and stunning landscapes, Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world. The country is blessed with fascinating diverse natural landscapes and exceptional cultures. While the fabled island of Bali has built its own international reputation for its stunning beaches and unique culture, yet Indonesia still has a lot of other equally amazing splendors.
Those who could just die for divine beaches and stunning underwater life can spoil themselves in Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, or Bunaken. For wildlife and adventure seekers, a chance to see the Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat on Komodo Island or an up close and personal encounter with Orangutans at the Tanjung Puting National Park are surely experiences that cannot be found in other parts of the world.
As a country of diverse ethnic groups, Indonesia is also blessed with some of the most unique cultures. The grandeur of Javanese art and lifestyle in the city of Yogyakarta still retains its classic ambience of the sultanate. Other more exotic cultures can also be found on Nias, Mentawai, Flores, and other islands in the archipelago.
For the full list of the top dream destinations click : www.wayn.com/profiles/wayntopdestination
Thailand, Indonesia and the US are still the hottest destinations for Australians, who are continuing to travel overseas in record numbers.
Each of the three had big increases in Australian visitors in the past 12 months, but they have not surpassed New Zealand, which remains the No. 1 destination for outbound Aussies.
A record 8 million Australians took advantage of the strong dollar and went overseas last year, an overall increase of 8 per cent on the previous financial year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“This meant that an extra 6000 Australians per day decided to take a trip overseas compared to just three years earlier,” said Sean Thompson, the bureau’s assistant director of tourism statistics.
The top five favourite destinations for Australians were New Zealand (1.1 million visitors), Indonesia (910,000 visitors), the US (819,000 visitors), Thailand (600,000 visitors), and Britain (487,000 visitors).
The number of Australian travellers to Thailand rose by 23 per cent, to Indonesia by 13 per cent, and to the US by 9 per cent in the past 12 months.
The figures are even more impressive when compared to those in 2008-09, when the Australian dollar was around US75¢ compared to $US1.03 last year.
Since 2008-09, tourism to Indonesia has more than doubled, while the number of Australians heading to Thailand and the US has increased by about 60 per cent.
Flight Centre spokesman Colin Bowman said that in addition to booming bookings to those places, Britain was also performing well.
“Perhaps there is some latent demand after people put off travelling there because of the Olympic Games,” he said.
“There has also been a fair bit of publicity about the alternative ways of getting there, including the Qantas/Emirates tie-up through Dubai and Etihad via Abu Dhabi.
“New Zealand is also as popular as ever,” he said. “The publicity around The Hobbit last year has helped and the Kiwis have been very good at marketing different styles of holidays such as ski, food and wine, and fly/drive in the South Island.”
Mr Bowman said Thailand and Indonesia continued to trade on their strong beach culture while good airfares were helping boost visitor numbers to the US, particularly New York, which has come back into vogue.
The outbound figures are contained in a report released last week by the Bureau of Statistics that also showed that tourism contributes more than $112 million a day to the Australian economy, outpacing industries such as agriculture; forestry and fishing; construction; and transport.
Despite the high numbers of Australians travelling overseas, the news isn’t all bleak on the home front. The number of visitors coming here from other countries has also continued to rise.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said: “The high dollar is not new, and is something our industry has had to adapt to, rather than hide behind.
“The reality is that we’re coming off the back of three years of solid growth [in overseas visitors coming to Australia]. Last year was a record for international visitors, up nearly 5 per cent to 6.1 million, with the country showing little sign of losing its global appeal.”
Records have also been set by the Australian cruise industry, with passenger numbers surging 11 per cent to 694,062 last year, according to a report released this week.
The Cruise Lines International Association also said that in the past four years the number of Australians taking a cruise doubled.
Bank Indonesia Survey of Visitors Reveal Most Tourists Want to Visit Bali Again
The Jakarta Post reports that many people responding to a survey carried out among tourist visitors show visitors to the Island come with great expectations and, once here, state a declared intention to visit Bali again.
4.91% more foreign tourists visited Bali in 2012 than did in 2011.
Asian Pacific visitors dominated Bali arrivals at 59.02%. Based on the further assumption that Indonesian travelers now represent 55% of all Bali visitors, this means more than 90% of Bali’s visitors come from within the region.
The survey of Bali visitors was conducted by the Bali branch of Bank Indonesia in May and November of 2012 and covered 1,000 respondents.
92% of those answering the survey confirmed they were on the island for a holiday, with 81% saying they want a return visit.
Stephanie Gunawan of Bank Indonesia showed that 67.09% of those responding were staying in the southernmost regency of Badung, followed by Gianyar (17.01%) and Denpasar (13.07%).
24.32% of those polled listed beach visits as a primary focus of their trip followed by shopping (13.10%) and museum visits (12.63%). Other motivations listed for visiting Bali included nature visits to mountains, lakes and waterfalls.
© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.
Indonesia gets award in Basel trade exhibition
Mark Broadhead | Lonely Planet author
It’s no easy task deciding on your favourite countries to travel to. We asked our fans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Thorn Tree to tell us where they have travelled and then we asked them to rate those destinations by 16 criteria (for example, which was the best ‘Value for money’ destination). More than 3000 people responded, and the results are now in.
In this post, we look at the popular destinations to go to for ‘Cultural sights’, ‘Nature’, ‘Travel memories’, ‘Safety’, ‘Meeting other travellers’, and ‘Meeting locals’. These are calculated by seeing the percentage of people who visited a destination who also rated it as the best for that criterion. So, for instance, nearly 30% of people who have been to Italy considered it the best destination they have been to for food.
It is no coincidence that destinations with ancient architecture dominated the ‘cultural sights’ list. When you think of Angkor, Giza, the Coloseum, Bagan, Hampi or the Great Wall, it’s enough to get itchy feet.
‘Angkor Wat, Cambodia‘ by shootingjaydred. Creative Commons Attribution
The Americas dominated the top 10 for ‘nature’ with four countries gracing the list: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil and Canada. Costa Rica takes the top spot. As one of our authors puts it, Costa Rica boasts a ‘Disney-like cast of creatures – ranging from howler monkeys to toucans.’ Of course, it also has jungle, active volcanoes and stunning coastlines.
‘Treefrog tadpoles’ by ggallice. Creative Commons Attribution
1. Costa Rica
3. New Zealand
Asia was the most ‘memorable’ continent, dominating the top four places in the list. Memorable destinations are also typically far-flung, dream destinations (at least for people who don’t live in Asia, South America or the Pacific).
‘India: Taj Mahal‘ by babasteve. Creative Commons Attribution
6. New Zealand
If safety is your thing then head to Japan, which easily topped the list with 32.5% of visitors ranking it first. All the Scandinavian countries were in the top 20, with Iceland and Norway making it into the top 10.
‘Do(g)scene‘ by m-louis. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
3. New Zealand
Meeting other travellers
As expected, backpacking hotspots dominated the best places to meet other travellers. Backpackers tend to be on longer trips, which facilitates more encounters with fellow travellers. Australia topped the list with 26% of visitors ranking it first. Of this top 10, India had the highest ranking for also meeting locals (see the next list below).
‘Koala at Billabong Sanctuary‘ by Christian Haugen. Creative Commons Attribution
5. New Zealand
10. Costa Rica
The famously hospitable Iranians easily made their country the best for ‘meeting locals’. With 31.5% of visitors ranking it first in this category, this was nearly double the second-placed Ghana.
‘some iranians. isfahan oct. 2007‘ by seier+seier. Creative Commons Attribution
We asked our fans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Thorn Tree to tell us where they have travelled and to rate those destinations by 16 criteria (for example, which was the best ‘Value for money’ destination). More than 3000 people responded, and the results are now in.
In this post we look at the popular destinations to go to for ‘Relaxing’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Shopping’, ‘Transportation’, ‘Off the beaten path’, ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Beyond expectations’. These are calculated by seeing the percentage of people who visited a destination who also rated it as the best for that criterion. So, for instance, nearly 30% of people who have been to Italy considered it the best destination they have been to for food.
No surprises here. All of the top 10 destinations for relaxing are known for their amazing beaches. Most are also well-known for their unhurried ‘island time’ sensibility. Maldives won with the highest score of any category winner in the survey: 47.4% rank it first for relaxing above anywhere else they’ve been. Greece was the only European country in the top 10. The Caribbean seems like a safe bet if your primary goal is to relax next vacation, with the Bahamas, Barbados and the Dominican Republic all making it into the top 10.
‘it seems i/u need a break!!‘ by muha…. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs
8. Dominican Republic
If you want to be entertained, then head to the UK, the US or Argentina… cheers! Yep, it seems that most of the top entertainment destinations are good places to get drunk. But there are also the benefits of theatrical shows in London and New York. Live music is also very much part of the culture in most of the top 10 entertainment destinations. For example, if you’ve been to Ireland and didn’t experience traditional folk music in a pub, it is a good excuse to go back.
‘The Shipwrights Arms‘ by kholkute. Creative Commons Attribution
1. United Kingdom
2. United States
8. Hong Kong
The usual suspects are on this shopping list. The USA comes in first…if you can’t buy it in the States then you probably can’t find it anywhere else. Other destinations are renowned for their bespoke qualities, like Thailand or Hong Kong for getting a tailor-made suit. The haute couture tradition in France is at the other end of bespoke price range.
‘Sham Shui Po‘ by kainet. Creative Commons Attribution
1. United States
2. Hong Kong
4. United Arab Emirates
5. United Kingdom
6. South Korea
Everybody loves Japan’s bullet trains, it seems. Or, at least, it helped Japan get number one spot for transportation with 32.9% of its visitors ranking it first in our survey. The much maligned (by Londoners), but excellent Underground also assisted the UK to second place. In fact, most the top 10 transportation destinations are known for having great train systems (at least for where travellers congregate, eg New York City rather than the whole of the US).
‘shinkansen 700 series‘ by kubotake. Creative Commons Attribution
2. United Kingdom
5. Hong Kong
10. United States
Off the beaten path
Proving that even the most visited continents have hidden gems, three countries in Europe made it to the top 10 ‘off the beaten path’ list. But Bhutan was the clear winner, capturing 45.2% of its visitors’ votes for this category, which is nearly double the second-placed, Moldova.
‘Chisinau, Moldova‘ by vlitvinov. Creative Commons Attribution
The top 10 for ‘accommodation’ proves that it is primarily about location, location and location. The top four placed destinations may have been helped by the fact that they are renowned for their beaches.
‘River Kwai Hammock‘ by Mark Fischer. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
5. United States
6. New Zealand
9. United Arab Emirates
10. South Africa
In an age of hype it is good to know that travellers are still surprised by some famously wonderful destinations. It is safe to say that news reports have caused many people to regard Iran in a negative light. Even though it is common knowledge that the people of Iran (or any country, for that matter) are not the same as their government, travellers are still surprised enough by Iran to place it first on this list.
‘Colombia, the only risk is wanting to stay‘ by Luz Adriana Villa A. Creative Commons Attribution
7. New Zealand
Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/2013/02/26/lonely-planet-travellers-choice-the-top-destinations-of-2013-part-3/#ixzz2MYkXHirb