Today’s traveler is different than it once was. People are interested in finding unique and adventurous destinations rather than the typical beach vacation. This is great news for smaller countries rich with cultural and historical attractions. People want to be taken off the beaten path, and local businesses around the world are profiting.

There are some experiences that entice travelers from around the world. Yoga in India, surfing in Hawaii, learning calligraphy in Japan or kung fu in China are experiences that so many people long to have. These are the kinds of things that are driving the travel industry. Every country has unique experiences that await tourists, and many smaller countries are highlighting their assets to draw in business.

Lonely Planet recently made a list of their top 10 countries to visit in 2010. Among other countries they listed Morocco, New Zealand and Portugal. Morocco has certainly made strides to increase tourism. Back in 2001 King Mohamed VI announced a plan to gain 10 million tourists by 2010. Since then the Moroccan people have worked hard to reach this goal and have turned Morocco into a destination many tourists are choosing. This has also lead to economic growth for the country.

New Zealand is another destination that has often gotten praise for its amazing landscape. It has everything from glaciers to geothermal springs to rainforests. It has something for everyone! Not to mention a rich cultural experience with friendly natives and delicious food. New Zealand also appeals to the more adventurous traveler who is looking to go hiking or camping in a breath taking setting. This scenic country also attracts longer vacationers which draws in more revenue for local tourism businesses.

Portugal also has a lot to offer international travelers. It has the perfect blend of history and modern development. In the past few years there has been a lot of growth in previously abandoned areas. There are new stores and galleries that are popular to tourists and also boost the local economy. Portugal is highlighting these new areas for tourists to offer something different than the traditional vacation. Expanding their options should help to attract several different types of travelers and help their tourism industry continue to grow.

So whether you’re flying to France, driving to Denmark, or jetting to Japan one thing is for sure, international travel is on the rise! So where will your next vacation be?

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