SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 8 (Gephardt Daily) — Forget about the colorful, culturally rich Haiti, and the balmy, beachy Philippines. Fodor’s has advised the world’s traveling elite that the No. 1 travel destination for 2016 is Utah.
Fodor’s Go List for 2016, published Tuesday on Fodor’s website, praises the Beehive State for Southern Utah’s red rock hiking and climbing opportunities, for Northern Utah’s skiing, and the whole state for its friendliness to both solo and family travelers.
“This is a distinction beyond our wildest dreams,” said Vicki Varela, Utah Department of Tourism managing director. “It’s the first time in Fodor’s 80 years that it ever named one destination as its top one, and it’s Utah.”
According to travel information business Fodor’s:
“Utah defies expectations: Salt Lake City, best known as the capital of the conservative LDS Church, recently elected the first openly gay mayor in the state’s history, and despite what you may have heard, alcohol is legal and easy to find—there’s even a ski-in whiskey distillery.
“Home to both desert and mountains, Utah is also the place to get outdoors in 2016. With the historic creation of Park City, the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the country (there’s more than 7,300 skiable acres and 300 trails to choose from), there’s no better time to experience Utah’s legendary powder.
Not a skier? No problem. Hiking the red-rock canyons of southern Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands — may change your life, and there are special celebrations planned throughout 2016 for the National Park Service’s centennial.”
Rafting, biking, scenic drives and dinosaur fossils also recommend Utah, according to Fodor’s.
“Best of all, Utah comes with an affordable price tag, with average daily room rates of $96 and average airfares into Salt Lake City of $361,” the story said.
Varela said tourists have generated $1.07 billion in state and local taxes alone.
“Tourism is Utah’s fastest growing industry, and it will grow even faster now that we’re on people’s bucket list.”
For Utahns who insist on getting out of state, Fodor’s 24 other suggestions, besides Haiti (No. 2) and the Philippines (No. 3) are, in descending order, Maine, Nepal, Stratford-Upon-Avon, North Loop, Minn.: Philadelphia; Taipei, Taiwan; Normandy, France; Palm Springs, Calif.; Lithuania; Cuba; San Sebastián, Spain; Fez, Morocco; Bavaria, Germany; the Faroe Islands of Denmark; Adelaide, Australia; Ecuador; Guam; St. Helena; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Guadalupe; Sicily, Italy; and sharing the No. 25 spot, America’s National Parks.