Burma has been awarded the title of “Top Country” at The Wanderlust Readers’ Travel Awards this year. The country was previously voted the “Top Emerging Destination” at the same awards back in 2011.
The winners of The Wanderlust Readers’ Travel Awards are decided using a percentage-satisfaction scoring system and Burma, also known as Myanmar, came out as the clear winner. Peru came in second on the list, followed by New Zealand in third. Nicaragua was voted the new “Top Emerging Destination” and Hoi An in Vietnam was voted “Top City”.
“Myanmar deserves its place as a ‘top travel destination’. I’ve visited nearly 50 countries and six continents and Myanmar remains one of my favourite places,” said Kellie Netherwood, a blogger at Wanderlust.
Burma has seen an increasing interest in the country in the past few years and 2012 saw more than one million people flock to the South-East Asian destination. According to Burmese officials the country also saw its total income from tourism rise from £201 million in 2011 to £336 million in 2012.
Thailand contributed to the largest number of visitors last year, making up 15.9 per cent. Western visitor numbers were small with British travellers making up just 4.09 per cent and visitors from the US making up 6.34 per cent.
However, some officials fear that Burma may not be ready for the sudden surge in tourism. Managing director at Wanderlust Lyn Hughes commented on the increase in tourism saying "it's not a surprise that there is such a pent-up demand. But it is also slightly worrying that there is so much interest; the accommodation and infrastructure isn't there to cope with huge numbers of visitors."