Scenic Sikkim has been named as the best region to visit in 2014 by a leading global travel guide, with Brazil emerging as the top destination in terms of countries.
Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2014' has come out with a list of top 10 destinations in different categories such as best countries to visit, best regions to visit, best cities to visit and many more such guiding lists for travel next year.
Sikkim was chosen as the best region to go to, with Paris the top city in a list that also included Cape Town, Shanghai and Chicago, while the Greek Islands were seen as the best-value destination.
"Picking up national accolades in 2012 for being India's cleanest state with the most innovative tourism project, Sikkim has set new benchmarks for responsible travel in the country," the guide says.
"Checkbox sightseeing has rapidly made way for sustainable community-based tourism in less developed areas, while eco-friendly policies have lent new vigour to the virginal Himalayan wilderness that drapes the region's mountains," the Melbourne-based guide book publisher says.
Praising the food in the region, the guide notes that organic farming is the new mantra in Sikkim and is being promoted in a big way.
With a new airport scheduled to open near Gangtok, the guide says in 2014 several hours of transit time will be cut and one could fly in directly from major Indian metros.
The Kimberly region in Australia came in second after Sikkim in the list of best destinations to visit in 2014 in terms of regions.
The list included other regions of great natural beauty and splendour such as Yorksire in the UK, Hokuriku in Japan, Texas in the US, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia, Mallorca in Spain, West Coast in New Zealand, Hunan in China and Ha'apai in Tonga.
In terms of countries, Brazil topped the list of best destinations to visit in 2014. Antarctica and Scotland were also named in the top three.
Other countries to make it to the top ten were Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia and Malaysia.
Published this week, Lonely Planet's ninth annual roundup of best destinations around the world for the upcoming year was based on "scores for topicality, excitement and that special x-factor," as determined by their inhouse experts and outside writers.
In addition to the more standard roundups, there are also some more inventive lists ranging from "10 essential travel destinations for Beatlemaniacs" (it's the 50th anniversary of the Beatles going to in New York) to "The cat's meow: top 10 destinations for feline fanatics".