Iceland, Thailand, London best-value destinations, says travel guide firm
The destinations were included in Lonely Planet’s annual snapshot book that captures "the world's hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the year ahead.”London -- Iceland and London are among the world's best-value destinations thanks to the economic crisis, travel guide firm Lonely Planet said Tuesday, while Thailand remains tough to beat.
South Africa, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Bulgaria, Kenya and Las Vegas in Nevada rounded out the top 10, said the British-based company in its Best In Travel 2010 guide.
The annual snapshot book captures "the world's hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the year ahead," Lonely Planet said.
The economic collapse in Iceland meant the island was no longer punitively expensive, said the guide, putting the beleaguered country at the top of its best-value list.
"Have you always wanted to discover this magical, mysterious country? To explore ice caps and volcanoes, and wallow in hot springs? Been put off because of the prohibitive prices? Well, 2010 is your year."
Thailand, at number two, remained "perennially good value," said the book.
"It's one of the cheapest long-haul holidays for European holidaymakers... visitors are always spoilt for choice regarding accommodation."
Meanwhile London's days as a costly destination were now over, Lonely Planet said.
"Long ludicrously expensive, London has become much more affordable for visitors from abroad, if not for its residents," said the guide.
"The favourable exchange rate means that travellers will often find hotels and meals up to half the price they were a few years ago."
Elsewhere in the top 10, Malaysia "is a clever choice for travellers on the lookout for a bargain,” while in India "your money stretches almost as far as the infamous Indian 'stretchable' time.”
"South Africa is not only about an amazing climate, vast unspoilt scenery, balmy sandy beaches, extraordinary wildlife and adventure activities, but the cost of living is low, so it's also excellent value for money."
The top 10 countries overall for travellers were El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname and the United States.
The top 10 cities were Abu Dhabi, Charleston (South Carolina), Cork (Ireland), Cuenca (Ecuador), Istanbul, Kyoto (Japan), Lecce (Italy), Sarajevo, Singapore and Vancouver (Canada).
Bali (Indonesia), Goa (India), Koh Kong (Cambodia), Southern Africa and southwest Western Australia featured among the top 10 regions.