Vancouver Island selected as one of the world’s top travel regions by Lonely Planet

Vancouver Island selected as one of the world's top travel regions by Lonely Planet
Yuri Choufo / Destination BC
A view of Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.

Another tourism accolade has been bestowed upon Vancouver Island as our little corner of the world has caught more global attention, this time as one of the world’s best travel regions, according to Lonely Planet.

Vancouver Island has been ranked as the ninth-best region in the world in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 and the only Canadian destination to make the annual list of top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in the year ahead.

The Best in Travel 2022 is an annual collection of some of the world’s “hottest destinations and the must-have travel experiences for the year ahead,” according to Lonely Planet, a globally recognized guidebook and travel publishing company.

Lonely Planet’s number one region for 2022 is the Westfjords, Iceland — a region described by Lonely Planet to be untouched by mass tourism where communities are working together to protect and promote their spectacular landscapes — while West Virginia, USA comes in second, and Xingshuabanna, China rounds out the top three.

“We are honoured to receive such positive recognition for Vancouver Island at a time when our tourism industry is embarking on a road to recovery,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. “As international visitors begin to travel again, they will look to trusted travel authorities such as Lonely Planet for direction on which destinations to choose first.”

According to the travel publishing company, the list starts with nominations from its community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts. The top regions, countries and cities were chosen this year for their “topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor” and ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

“This criteria is particularly meaningful given Tourism Vancouver Island’s dedication to developing and promoting responsible and sustainable travel in the Vancouver Island region,” adds Janet Docherty, Chair of Tourism Vancouver Island’s Board of Directors. “We thank the residents of Vancouver Island for contributing to making the region a special place to live and visit.”

Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience Tom Hall adds that the release of this “hot list” couldn’t be more timely as the world recovers from the global pandemic.

“After an enforced hiatus, it’s time to take those long-postponed travel plans off the shelf and make them a reality,” Hall said on the release of the list today.

“The lists celebrate the world in all its wonderful enticing variety,” Hall continues. “From the lagoons and forests of the Cook Islands to the waterfalls and mountains of Iceland’s Westfjords, via Auckland’s natural and urban delights.”

Earlier this year, Travel + Leisure — another recognized global travel publisher — ranked The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino as one of the world’s best 100 hotels.

The Wickaninnish Inn, located at 500 Osprey Lane in Tofino, scored a total of 97.00/100 in Travel + Leisure’s rankings, which places it at 80th on the top list of hotels by Travel + Leisure.

Tofino was also recognized by Travel + Leisure in a separate article, highlighting the Island travel destination as one of the 12 Best Small Towns in Canada as well.

The full list of top travel regions, cities and countries from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 can be found below:

Top 10 Regions
1. Westfjords, Iceland
2. West Virginia, USA
3. Xishuangbanna, China
4. Kent’s Heritage Coast, UK
5. Puerto Rico
6. Shikoku, Japan
7. Atacama Desert, Chile
8. The Scenic Rim, Australia
9. Vancouver Island, Canada
10. Burgundy, France

Top 10 Countries
1. Cook Islands
2. Norway
3. Mauritius
4. Belize
5. Slovenia
6. Anguilla
7. Oman
8. Nepal
9. Malawi
10. Egypt

Top 10 Cities
1. Auckland, New Zealand
2. Taipei, Taiwan
3. Freiburg, Germany
4. Atlanta, USA
5. Lagos, Nigeria
6. Nicosia/Lefkosia,Cyprus
7. Dublin, Ireland
8. Merida, Mexico
9. Florence, Italy
10. Gyeongju, South Korea

More information can be found by visiting

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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