The Pekoe Trail, a 300km trekking trail that travels through the central hills of Sri Lanka, has been profiled among the “Top 20 Travel Experiences for 2024” as named by National Geographic’s Global Editorial Teams, as part of their picks for Best of the World 2024, the brand’s annual guide of the most exciting, meaningful, and one-of-a-kind travel experiences for 2024.
The National Geographic recently announced their picks for ‘BEST OF THE WORLD 2024’, the brand’s annual guide of the most exciting, meaningful, and one-of-a-kind travel experiences for 2024, whereas the Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka was ranked number 16 in the “Top 20 Travel Experiences” category.
‘BEST OF THE WORLD 2024’ was created, researched, reported, and written in collaboration with National Geographic’s international editorial teams, which serve millions of readers through their magazines and websites around the world. This year’s travel guide celebrates not only must-see destinations but expands the franchise to include a complete and authoritative suite of must-do, must-stay, and must-consume recommendations for travelers to engage with these destinations more deeply and meaningfully.
For the first time ever, Nat Geo’s BEST OF THE WORLD recommendations also include a selection of wellness retreats, hotels, cultural gems, and restaurants that National Geographic’s experts agree are “worth building a trip around,” as well as a list of the top 20 travel adventures for the year ahead. Also new for 2024 is a list of the top expert-approved travel products and a newly introduced set of change-makers who inspire National Geographic’s own global community of travel experts on where and how to travel.
National Geographic’s editor-in-chief Nathan Lump said: “At National Geographic, we know that travel has the power to move you. That the experiences you have can make you see the world — and yourself — in a new light. Our expanded BEST OF THE WORLD franchise is the ultimate guide to the exceptional experiences that we and our global community of experts are most excited about right now, whether that’s hiking to the El Valle de Antón volcano in Panama or listening to live music in Kyoto or bear-watching in Alaska” .
Meanwhile, Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayaka, emphasised the national significance of this ranking: “Sri Lanka is set to attract a trending new international tourist segment with The Pekoe Trail that offers a world-class nature-based experience in our tea country. This recognition from Nat Geo validates the collaborative efforts of the Plantation companies, Sri Lanka Tourism, Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, Dept. of Forest Conservation, Sri Lanka Railways, the JEDB, the European Union and USAID in creating a world class walking trail.”
Commenting on this achievement the European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E. Carmen Moreno said, “We are thrilled that The Pekoe Trail continues to attract the global travel media limelight for Sri Lanka at a time when we need to maximize the momentum for tourism recovery. Funded by the European Union, The Pekoe Trail is a unique close-to-nature, wellness tourism experience for travelers, that also provides economic growth opportunities for communities along the Trail.”
The Pekoe Trail, a 300km, 22-stage discovery of Sri Lanka on foot, is creating international headlines for Sri Lanka as a destination for wellness and nature-based travel. It is a unique tourism experience that supports the long-term environmental sustainability of habitats as well as the social and commercial sustainability of the communities it passes through.
Supported generously by the European Union (EU) with additional support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The Pekoe Trail promises an immersive and enriching experience for those seeking to connect with the authentic essence of Sri Lanka and will be open to travellers in stages commencing November 2023.
Furthermore, the Nat Geo states “Sri Lanka is virtually synonymous with tea. The island nation is one of the world’s top producers of tea leaves. British colonists introduced the first bushes about 200 years ago. Now visitors can trace the footsteps of historic planters on the new, nearly 200-mile Pekoe Trail, the country’s first long-distance walking route.
Starting just outside Kandy, the trail follows the 19th-century tracks upon which workers and horse-drawn carts transported freshly plucked leaves. Hikers pass through hill towns and tea estates and can stop to take a cooking class or savor a cup of aromatic Ceylon tea.”
“National Geographic is synonymous with the best in travel, adventure, and exploration, and now our editors are sharing the full breadth of their insight across a variety of categories with our fans all over the world,” said Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic Content. “Whether through the pages of National Geographic magazine, @NatGeo on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, our BEST OF THE WORLD franchise has the power to ignite the explorer in everyone, from the professional traveler to the family looking for their next adventure”.