Surprise Aussie destination makes National Geographic’s “most exciting” destinations to visit in 2020

National Geographic has surprised and delighted many by including another region in Australia on their “best trips to take in 2020” list.

Usually, it’s expected that cities like Sydney, Melbourne or even the Gold Coast appear on these lists, but National Geographic included the region of Tasmania.

Tasmania came in at number 16 on the list of 25, as the destination has quickly become a hotspot for domestic and international travellers.

The 2019 figures indicate that the region has experienced the biggest growth in international visitors in the country.

The latest figures released from Tourism Research Australia showed that 307,000 international visitors explored Tasmania in the 12 months to September last year. This is a 15 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said to the ABC that the growth has largely been driven by visitors from China.

“Part of the lift in Tasmanian tourism can be attributed to (having a) high profile in China, associated with President (Xi Jinping’s) visit to Tasmania over the last couple of years,” he said.

“That just shows how every little thing helps in terms of growing tourism.”

However, Luke Martin from the Tourism Industry Council in Tasmania has said that the boom is putting pressure on the environment. 

"Those areas are jewels for Tasmania and Australia … frankly they haven't had the investment they should over time," he said.

"We're seeing about $80 million spent on Cradle Mountain.

"That will help with conservation challenges and its role of key tourism icon in northern Tasmania," he explained.

"Sustainable tourism is the discussion topic for the next couple of years.

"We've got more lead time than other countries, so we need to work out how to protect and provide access."

This article originally appeared on Over60.