One of the best accolades received by the Sultanate of Oman this year, the country has been listed as the seventh must-visit country in the world for 2022 in the 17th edition of Lonely Planet's annual Best In Travel list making it one of the world's hottest destinations and number one in the Middle East.
"This annual list ranks the planet’s must-visit countries, cities and regions for 2022. As we re-engage with the world with a new appreciation for what a privilege and responsibility travel is, Lonely Planet has drawn on the knowledge of our global community of experts to curate a collection of experiences that will inspire you to reconnect with the world," shared the Lonely Planet team.
One of the world's smallest countries, The Cook Islands with its 15 'paradise islands', located between French Polynesia and American Samoa has been listed as the top destination.
From the Middle East, only Oman and Egypt made it into the top 10 with Egypt sitting nicely at the 10th spot.
The complete Top 10 list includes Cook Islands, Norway, Mauritius, Belize, Slovenia, Anguilla, Oman, Nepal, Malawi and Egypt.
Rich in heritage, traditional charm
Overall, Lonely Planet generally said, "Oman doesn't boast many 'firsts' or 'biggests' in a region bent on grandstanding. What it does boast, with its rich heritage and embracing society, is a strong sense of identity, a pride in an ancient, frankincense-trading past and confidence in a highly educated future."
The prestigious publication added, "For visitors, this offers a rare chance to engage with the Arab world without the distorting lens of excessive wealth. Oman's low-rise towns retain their traditional charms, and Bedouin values remain at the heart of an Omani welcome. With an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains, wind-blown deserts and a pristine coastline, Oman is the obvious choice for those seeking out the modern face of Arabia while wanting still to sense its ancient soul."
The Best in Travel 2022 also touches on the following topics: Reflective view on travel in a post-pandemic world; Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in 2022; Inspiration and guidance for every destination to help travellers make it happen and expert advice on how to protect the areas you visit on your travels.
TOP 10 CITIES
In its Top 10 Cities for 2022 Category, Auckland, New Zealand took the top spot followed by Taipei, Taiwan, Freiburg, Germany, Atlanta, USA, Lagos, Nigeria, Nicosia / Lefkosia, Cyprus, Dublin, Ireland, Merida, Mexico, Florence, Italy and Gyeongju, South Korea.
TOP 10 REGIONS
For the Top 10 regions for 2022 category, Westfjords, Iceland dominates the number one spot followed by West Virginia, USA, Xishuangbanna, China, Kent’s Heritage Coast, UK, Puerto Rico, Shikoku, Japan, Atacama Desert, Chile, The Scenic Rim, Australia, Vancouver Island, Canada, and Burgundy, France.
Founded by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, Lonely Planet is one of the largest guidebook companies in the world, dominating 25% of the market and having sold 120 million books as of 2011.
The annual Lonely Planet's Best-in-Travel lists are created based on the topicality, unique experiences, 'wow' factor and ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices. The inputs come from numerous contributors from around the world and are then finalized by a panel of travel experts.