If 2016 was the year of travelers opting to stay close to home in the wake of high-profile terrorist attacks around the globe, 2017 may very well be just the opposite - a year characterized by searching far and wide for under-the-radar and unique experiences.
The trend, revealed in a report from Trip.com (formerly Gogobot), may be a sign that even in these tumultuous times, people have not lost their sense of adventure.
Or it may be an indication that the wave of populist political sentiment popping up across the planet may have its limitations.
"Given that globally there has been a rise of this politically populist attitude in a lot of countries and people wanting to roll back the idea of globalization, we felt this list of 2017 Rising Star Destinations was a sign of hopefulness," explains Travis Katz co-founder and CEO of Trip.com, "It seems to show that people are not wanting to withdraw from the world and still want to engage, because the destinations on the list this year are the most international we've seen in years."
Each year Trip.com releases a list of up-and-coming travel destinations, which is based on the activity of its site members and the reviews members post about more than 60,000 destinations.
Last year's Rising Stars list appeared to be heavily influenced by the terrorist attacks in Paris, the economic collapse in Greece and more geo-political events. There were no European destinations among the top ten, which was instead dominated by domestic and North American destinations such as New Orleans, La.; Montreal, Quebec; Houston, Texas; Memphis, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Sacramento, Calif.