Early this month, on February 4th, National Geographic published its "Traveller’s Cool List" for 2020, naming Lebanon as one of the world’s 20 must-see destinations, citing it number 3 after Namibia and Baja California.
Praising the Bekaa Valley as picturesque and "home to a booming viticulture scene" and Beirut's "creative and culinary scene," the National Geographic's Cool List recommends Lebanon as a must-see destination for this year.
"Lebanon is back on the travel map," the list says, putting it at the account of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) having lifted its previous travel restrictions on parts of Lebanon.
"UK travel companies are returning in droves, opening up Lebanon’s archaeological treasures to tour groups," the list stated.
They cited the UK companies reportedly returning to the region this year to include YellowWood Adventures, Cox & Kings, Explore, and Undiscovered Destinations.
They also reported that the company "Travel the Unknown" has also "tripled itineraries to include specialist tours to lesser-known sights" in Lebanon.
The magazine’s editor, Pat Riddell, stated that the Cool List overall "is replete with nations bouncing back from trying times, and provides plenty of inspiration close to home."
"Exploring the world this decade means doing so responsibly and with purpose: tour slowly, spend locally and show support," he advises.
In addition to Lebanon and the first two destinations mentioned above, the National Geographic Traveller's Cool List for 2020 also includes Cumbria, Slovenia, Wales, Panama, Brisbane, Salt Lake City, Lyon, Ethiopia, Cairo, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Galway, Vietnam, Tel Aviv, and Rio de Janeiro.
Lebanon has always found its place in most of the National Geographic lists. In 2018, the travel magazine listed Lebanon among the best destinations for summer trips.
In summer 2019, it listed the "Best Beaches in the Middle East" with Lebanon's Tyre beach landing a spot on the list, alongside eight other beaches from the Middle East and North Africa region.
To know about the other listed countries, visit here.