National Geographic names Banff one of the world’s top travel destinations

Moraine Lake

National Geographic Traveler recently named Alberta’s Banff National Park one of the best destinations to visit in 2017.

According to the magazine’s editor-in-chief, George Stone, the list of the 21 must-see destinations “represents a carefully curated selection of forward-leaning places that reveal the bright future of travel.”

Selected alongside a diverse list of destinations—including Ecuador’s Cloud Forests, Central India’s National Parks, and the Guadeloupe Islands—Banff was the only Canadian location on the list. It did, however, make the cover. Perhaps not surprisingly, they chose an image of Moraine Lake, situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. And though it’s iconic sights like these that have contributed to Banff’s popularity, Stone told Global News that it’s about the people too.

“The magic comes from person-to-person interactions with big-hearted Canadians, from First Nations community leaders to horse-packing cowboy guides to park rangers to some of the country’s newer citizens, who hail from foreign lands but find a happy home in Canada.”

Photo by National Geographic

Alberta’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda, said he was thrilled with the designation, and echoed many of Stone’s sentiments.

“Alberta is a place of incredible scenery, people, and spirit. We wholeheartedly agree that Banff is one of the world’s must-see destinations,” he said in a media release. “It is one of many locations in the Rocky Mountains and Alberta that offers visitors a great vacation experience.”

The designation comes just weeks after travel media giant Lonely Planet named Canada one of the top places to travel to in 2017, citing the country’s alpine lakes and soaring mountains as a few of its most alluring features. 

With Canada’s 150th birthday on the horizon, it appears to be a trendy time for the country. But after Banff mayor Karen Sorenson expressed concern about whether or not the town could handle next year’s influx of visitors, we can only hope that all this recognition doesn’t make it too popular.