The political and geographical landscape of the world is constantly evolving. The newest and most popular tourist destinations are always looking to figure out ways to bring more visitors and cash into the local area. Some hot destinations of today were lukewarm regions years ago that needed some much-needed updates. Here are 10 of the most popular spots that have reinvented themselves at some point in time.
New York City
Today, many people around the world dream of making a pilgrimage to the iconic American city, New York. World-class shopping, broadway shows, tall skyscrapers, and other famous sights make this a popular destination for millions of people each year. In the 1970s and 1980s, though, the city had a reputation for grittiness and crime. Over the course of a few years, the city’s officials worked hard to clean up the city and reduce the crime rate, making it an attractive spot for visitors today.
The south of France has always been a top destination for the rich and famous. One spot that was routinely skipped was the rough city of Marseille, with its seedy reputation. Recently, the city has experienced a revitalization with new projects aimed to update the decaying parts of the port. Now, visitors are flocking to this seaside destination once again.
Until a few years ago, most people in the world probably couldn’t find Iceland on a map, or they may have confused it for its nearby neighbor, Greenland. Since Iceland’s economic crisis a few years ago, the country has made a conscious effort to increase tourism dollars to the island nation. With new international routes from Iceland’s Wow Airlines and IcelandAir, the capital of Reykjavik is now on everyone’s radar.
After the end of World War II, this German city was divided into two halves representing the democratic west and the oppressive east. Surrounded by fences and walls, the city happened to be situated in the middle of the Iron Curtain territory. Once the walls tumbled and the two Germanies reunited, this city had much to do to get it ready for a slew of international visitors. Now, Berlin continues to offer plenty of sights and culture to tourists while also preserving the history from the Cold War.
In the 1990s, no one would imagine that the Yugoslavian city of Sarajevo would be anything but a war zone. During the Bosnian War, this city was the site of violence and a four-year siege that would nearly level it. Since peace was declared years ago, the area has experienced a rebirth, and visitors are discovering its many cultural and historic treasures.
The drug cartel that had the country of Colombia in its grips for so many years also made its most vibrant city, Cartagena, unsafe for tourists. Now, the country is beginning to open up its doors to visitors again, as drug violence here has been drastically reduced. This region is ready for a new birth of tourism allowing people to discover its music, its food, and the daily life here.
After the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, some people wondered if New Orleans would be able to come back. Now, more than 10 years later, the city is once again open for business. The fun of Mardi Gras and nightly celebrations are still in full force in this Missississippi River delta.
The hopes and dreams of the 1990s live on in the quirky city of Portland, Oregon. In that philosophy of life, the city has reinvented itself with a unique identity. If you miss the grungy plaid of those years long ago and want to see a socially-conscious community in full force, Portland is the place for you.
Las Vegas is the one spot in the world that has constantly reinvented itself since its first steps in the travel and leisure market years ago. Every few years, the old-fashioned and even iconic hotels and resorts of the past are removed for more updated buildings of the future, like the Steve Wynn casino and resort. This way, Las Vegas will always be at the forefront of the vacation and travel industry.
Lastly, there is one up and coming spot that is positioned to make a huge impact on the tourist market. Cuba’s bright capital, Havana, is ready to make its debut in the resort industry. Now that the steps are being taken to help open up this country to tourists from the United States, expect to see a whole new Havana in the years to come.
Today’s popular destinations may have not always been the desirable places to visit they are now. Many cities and regions have experienced trouble or challenges in the past. Some spots have had to clean up their acts, update their infrastructure, and more to be the big players in the vacation and tourist industry.