U.S. travel magazine Travel + Leisure is paying homage to its neighbor to the north by naming Canada its “Destination of the Year 2017.” Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year—the perfect time for it to receive this honor.
Editors chose Canada due to its “sustained cultural relevance, as well as its blend of world-class cities, epic natural wonders and eclectic cuisine,” according to a press release from the magazine’s parent company Time Inc.
The criteria for destination of the year includes a country that “best captures the travel zeitgeist of the moment” and is popular among visitors. Canada was picked for its role as a global leader and because it’s a nation “defined by tolerance and hope.” For example, Canada has openly welcomed refugees and immigrants, while America has tightened its restrictions on foreigners.
According to editor in chief Nathan Lump said, “The designation also signals the era in which we live. Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this year, of course, but the country has also distinguished itself during a particularly divisive time as a welcome unifier of communities and cultures. That it also delivers on some of the key attributes most appreciated by global travelers today—unspoiled natural environments, dynamic cities, creative food and art scenes—only makes the country more compelling at this moment.”
In addition, its favorable exchange rate makes it the perfect destination for Americans looking for a compelling traveling destination.
Travel + Leisure is celebrating Canada via a 360-degree video experience that explores Vancouver Island in British Colombia. The magazine’s December issue will feature the best of Canada.
Previous destinations of the year include Portugal (2016) and Cuba (2015).
Last year, Lonely Planet named Canada the number-one country to visit in 2017. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been credited with boosting Canadian tourism and making the country even more appealing to travelers.