Never has a year impacted travel quite like 2020. So when the team at Lonely Planet sat down, topped up the coffee, pulled out the maps and started brainstorming their annual best in travel feature for the year ahead, something clearly felt awry.
How could it be responsible to plunge in and recommend places based on their allure, on their uniqueness, or encourage people to travel willy nilly despite the lessons of the last 12 months – and the huge impact a world not travelling has had upon the environment (positive) and the people and places that rely on tourism to survive (not so positive).
Shying away from the bucket list mentality, Lonely Planet CEO Luis Cabrera puts it nicely: “As our world came to a full stop this year, we looked in the mirror to reflect on how we can best empower our readers to travel responsibly and become agents of positive change. And we realized that to reimagine travel post-2020, we needed to reinvent ourselves first, so we updated our editorial practices to highlight more local and diverse voices.”