Travel - Tips - Food - Observations

Saturday, 7 February 2015

52 Places to Go in 2015 -

52 Places to Go in 2015 -

'via Blog this' - WOW! Now this is a bucket list! Friggin awesome website as well.

And Beyond
  • All 52
  • Europe
  • Latin America & Caribbean
  • U.S. & Canada
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Australia & Pacific

1. Milan, Italy

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The Duomo. CreditChris Carmichael for The New York Times
A revitalized city welcomes the world.
Sure, Italy is rich with romantic cities like Florence, Venice and Rome — but its most vibrant might just be Milan. And this is the year for tourists to explore its charms, as it hosts the 2015 World Expo.
Twenty million visitors are expected to visit the city for the Expo, a mammoth event that runs from May through October and involves more than 130 participating nations and organizations sponsoring more than 60 pavilions. The Expo’s theme focuses on food, nutrition and sustainability practices — a fitting choice for a city steeped in Italian culinary traditions. Highlights will include the Future Food District, a space to explore technological advances affecting the global food chain, and the Lake Arena, an Expo centerpiece with a mirrorlike pond and fountain fed by water from the city’s canals.
The Expo coincides with the completion of a number of urban renewal projects that are infusing new life into overlooked quarters, like La Darsena, a formerly dilapidated harbor that will feature tree-lined promenades, bike paths and piazzas. Historical attractions have also been spruced up, from the gleaming facade of the majesticDuomo to the restored canals of the charming Navigli district.
And Milanese restaurants are earning acclaim for their increased focus on diverse regional cuisines from across the Italian peninsula. You can sample everything from farinata and pesto-slathered Genovese specialties at U Barba to traditional Neapolitan pizza at Lievito Madre al Duomo, an outpost of Gino Sorbillo’s famouspizzeria that opened here last fall. New luxury hotels, like the Mandarin Oriental Milan slated to open this year, promise to dress up an already fashionable city that may just have it all.INGRID K. WILLIAMS

2. Cuba

Colorful homes in Old Havana. CreditLisette Poole for The New York Times
As relations warm, a Caribbean island is within reach.
Cuba has long been the forbidden island, a tropical bastion of communism whose mystique was amplified by the fact it was largely off limits to Americans. Now, as part of the détente between the United States and Cuba, Americans wishing to go there will face fewer restrictions, provided their visit is "purposeful" (strictly sun-and-sand holidays are still prohibited). The opening comes as life on the island is gradually changing — not fast enough for many Cubans, but slowly enough that those wanting to glimpse a crumbling socialist system, see the miles of undeveloped, glittering coastline and strike up a conversation in the back of a battered Oldsmobile still have time. While the issue of travel there is still politically polarizing in the United States, the travel industry is embracing this potential new Caribbean destination with full force. The good news, for Cubans and their visitors, is that the economic reforms — however limited — have created a constellation of privately-run restaurants and bars in Havana and provincial towns, many of them in beautiful, restored homes. An effort by the government to reinject life into Havana’s cultural scene has spawned vibrant new venues like the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, where the young, hip and better-off line up on weekends. Given the sharp rise expected in the number of Americans visiting, travelers should book early if they want somewhere to sleep during the 12th Havana Biennial, May 22 to June 22, an event that — as if to prove Cuba still operates at its own pace — rarely happens at two year intervals. VICTORIA BURNETT

3. Philadelphia

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The Schuylkill River Trail. CreditSam Oberter for The New York Times
The making of an urban outdoor oasis.
A series of projects has transformed Philadelphia into a hive of outdoor urban activity. Dilworth Park, formerly a hideous slab of concrete adjoining City Hall, reopened this past autumn as a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with a winter ice-skating rink (and a cafe by the indefatigable chef Jose Garces). Public art installations, mini "parklets" and open-air beer gardens have become common sights. The Delaware River waterfront was reworked for summer 2014 with the Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammocks, lanterns and floating bar) becoming a new fixture, following the renovation of the Race Street Pier, completed in 2011, and offers free yoga classes on a bi-level strip of high-design decking and grass. The city’s other river, the Schuylkill, has its own new boardwalk. To top it off, this spring, Philadelphia will get its first bike share program, making this mostly flat city even more friendly for those on two wheels. NELL MCSHANE WULFHART

4. Yellowstone National Park

The Clepsydra Geyser erupts at sunset in the Lower Geyser Basin. CreditRachid Dahnoun
The nation’s first national park offers new lodging.
Yellowstone National Park will get a major lodging upgrade with the $70 million redesign of the largest accommodation complex in the park, Canyon Lodge and Cabins, with more than 500 rooms. Near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, five new sustainably built lodges, three of which will open in spring, will replace outdated cabins, and new walking and biking paths will link the village with the park’s North Rim Drive. If you’re heading to the park this winter, before those open, you can explore the frosty, untrafficked landscape with the nonprofit Yellowstone Association, which is offering two-day/three-night cross-country ski and wildlife-watching trips. And for the first time since 2003, park managers will allow self-guided snowmobile tours, by permit only. ELAINE GLUSAC

5. Elqui Valley, Chile

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The Gemini South telescope. CreditGemini Observatory/AURA
Stargaze — while you can — in Northern Chile.
The deserts of northern Chile, whose dry, clear skies and high altitude make for unmatched stargazing, have long been home to some of the world’s largest research telescopes. Those stunning starscapes, as well as more down-to-earth charms, have lately proved a draw for travelers, too. The heart of the astrotourism boom is the Elqui Valley, a 100-mile strip of vineyards and orchards on the southern edge of the Atacama Desert, dotted with colonial towns and pisco distilleries. At least a half-dozen small observatories now cater to stargazers, while family-run hotels offer special domed and glass-ceilinged suites and in-room telescopes. But visit soon: Light pollution from new tourist infrastructure has already begun to dim Elqui’s magnificent skies. REMY SCALZA

6. Singapore

Gardens by the Bay. CreditCarlos Spottorno/Panos Pictures
It’s a year-long birthday party, and the world is invited.
Singapore is turning 50 in 2015, and the ambitious little city-state is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. Festivities began on New Year’s Eve with a huge fireworks display set to music over Marina Bay. That will be followed by the riotous Chingay Parade in February, featuring thousands of colorfully dressed performers. In the fall, a five-mile historic public art trail called the Jubilee Walk will be inaugurated, and the National Gallery Singapore opens in the grand former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, where it will house one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian art in the world. The showcase event will be the National Day parade at the site where Singapore’s independence was declared in 1965. JUSTIN BERGMAN

7. Durban, South Africa

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The Durban beachfront. CreditJoão Silva/The New York Times
A third city finds its place in the spotlight.
No one has bad things to say about Durban, per se; they will agree that its beachfront promenade is lovely and the weather is pleasant year round. And yet Durbs, as it is affectionately called, is often scoffed at by Capetonians and Joburgers for being a touch gauche. Well, enough of that. The city’s creative set is staking its claim on a hefty share of the country’s cool quotient. The reinvention ofRivertown kicked things off: The city enclave is now home to a popular market, beer hall and, coming soon, a raft of boutiques showcasing proudly local brands (Dirty Indigo T-shirts; Spine men’s wear). The beloved but dated Durban beachfront is also getting a serious upgrade, courtesy of new dining spots like Afro’s Chicken, California Dreaming and Surf Rider’s Cafe. Not sure where to start exploring? Order a bunny chow, the quintessential Indian-South African fast food (Durban is home to one of the world’s largest Indian communities), and join a city walk led by Beset Durban.SARAH KHAN

8. Bolivia

Lake Titicaca, with the Andes in the background. CreditNicholas Gill
Finally stable and opening up to the world.
Bolivia’s days of relentless transportation strikes and roadblocks are mostly behind it. And travelers who try out the now tourism-friendly infrastructure will be rewarded with new attractions once they arrive. Claus Meyer’s two-year-old fine-dining restaurant, Gustu,and the Melting Pot Foundation are helping set a new culinary tone around the country by starting Suma Phayata, an official street food tour in La Paz, and renewing interest in high-altitude wine routes in the Tarija region. Adventure excursions also abound, from luxe tent camp trips led by the Chilean operator Explora across the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats, to community tourism projects on coffee farms in the Yungas region, where a new road to Caranavi, expected to open this year will cut the travel time drastically from La Paz. NICHOLAS GILL

9. Faroe Islands

Lobster at Koks restaurant in Torshavn. CreditBenjamin Rasmussen
A remote location is home to the New, New, New Nordic cuisine.
The Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic, has emerged in the last five years as possibly the most secluded destination for avant-garde food. Leading the way is Koks, a signatory of the New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto, which stresses modern cuisine made from local, seasonal ingredients, and Aarstova, a French restaurant using Faroese ingredients. In 2015 Aarstova’s new fish house, Barbara, will serve the only yearly harvest of the incomparable Faroe Bank cod. There’s also innovative sushi at Etika, and a well-regarded brewery Okkara. In addition, the islands are drawing food enthusiasts for their local cheeses and raest, a fermented mutton dish that is a local delicacy. Though isolated, the Faroe Islands — an autonomous part of Denmark — are a short flight from Copenhagen and Reykjavik. DAVID SHAFTEL

10. Macedonia

Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. CreditJodi Hilton
The next Balkan destination.
First came Croatia, then Montenegro — even Albania is gaining traction on the western Balkan travel circuit. Macedonia is next. Known for its moody monasteries and sparkling Lake Ohrid, this former Yugoslav republic is making a play for adventure foodies, too. It makes sense. Places like the Shar Mountains abound in Alp-like hiking while Macedonia’s wine industry — once responsible for the bulk of Yugoslavia’s supply — is enjoying a rebound with local producers. Scores of smaller hotels serving traditional soups and pastries like pastrmajlija, a meat pie, have opened to replace cold socialist haunts. Old establishments like the Hotel Montana Palacein cheese-friendly Krusevo offer newly renovated settings at low Balkan prices. And Macedonia is one of the few places without a McDonald’s — they all closed in 2013. TIM NEVILLE

11. Medellín, Colombia

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An aerial gondola rises above the Santo Domingo neighborhood. CreditPaul Smith for The New York Times
Urban renewal with innovative architecture and design.
Medellín’s been getting a lot of attention lately for its spectacular urban renewal efforts. Many of the once legendary slums have been transformed through some astonishing architectural gems, like the Biblioteca España, a hyper-modern public library and community space in the low-income Santo Domingo neighborhood. The city’sMetrocables (aerial gondolas) and 1,300 feet of outdoor escalators, developed to integrate the poorer hillside neighborhoods with the city center, are global milestones in smart public transit. New schools and parks dot the city. And an ambitious contemporary expansion to the Museo de Arte Moderno, housed in a former steel mill in the up-and-coming Ciudad del Rio neighborhood, is scheduled for completion this year. NELL MCSHANE WULFHART

12. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Coral reefs near Petit St. Vincent. CreditRichard Murphy
A new airport and dive center await.
The largest development project ever undertaken in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the new $240 million Argyle International Airport will open this year, offering nonstop jet service from North America and Europe to the 32-island nation dotting the Lesser Antilles between St. Lucia and Grenada. Travelers traditionally come to scuba dive or snorkel the island chain’s reefs, and the private island resort of Petit St. Vincent just added a new dive center run by the marine conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau, with plans to lobby for a marine preserve nearby. Palm Island Resort manages to preserve the peace for which travelers come and serve social needs with a new weekly Silent Cinema night on the beach (guests watch a movie projected on a big screen while listening via wireless headphones) and a Silent Disco dance party held monthly on the shore. ELAINE GLUSAC

13. Orlando, Florida

A pork porterhouse at the Ravenous Pig restaurant. CreditJon Whittle
Beyond Mickey Mouse: a Disney destination matures.
Disney World will no doubt remain the biggest draw to Orlando, but the city is growing up thanks to a string of civic developments, including the $429 million Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, the 62-mile-long SunRail commuter train, both opened last year, and a coming 19,500-seat soccer stadium set to open this year. But the most surprising development is the food scene. East End Market, and its stalls selling locavore fare and artisanal baked goods, opened in 2013. Last year saw the opening of Txokos Basque Kitchen, whose chef was nominated for a James Beard Award. Not to be outdone, two fellow Beard nominees, James and Julie Petrakis (The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder), announced the February opening of Swine & Sons Provisions, their market/restaurant hybrid. Theme parks are expanding adult options as well: the elegant Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World opened in August 2014 and features a golf course, a rooftop lounge and an adults-only pool.ADAM H. GRAHAM

14. Zimbabwe

The Bomani Tented Lodge in Hwange National Park. CreditGemma Catlin
Once-avoided, now must-visit.
This country’s beauty and bounty have been overshadowed by political unrest and economic collapse over the last few decades, but today, the government is finally stable, the overinflated Zimbabwean dollar is gone, and the prices are low. An international terminal at Victoria Falls Airport set to open in July will make it far easier to get to, and new trips from outfitters like Red Savannah and Cox and Kings give travelers a way to explore the many riches: There’s the spectacular Victoria Falls, the Zambezi, Unesco World Heritage sites like the granite landform Matobo Hills and the colonial charm of cities like Harare. The biggest draw, however, might be the abundance of game, including hippos and lions, on full view on water safaris, like those offered by the new luxury cruiserMatusadona, or the old-fashioned way, by land, at upscale lodges like Bomani Tented Lodge in Hwange National Park. SHIVANI VORA

15. Burgundy, France

The Clos Des Lambrays vineyard. CreditM. Jean-Louis Bernuy
A Unesco candidate gets a redux and a renewed vigor.
Adieu Burgundy. Bonjour Bourgogne! The renowned wine region has ditched its musty Anglo moniker and reclaimed its French name in all official wine communications. With this rebrand come several changes and a new generation of winemakers and hoteliers. In 2014, the luxury conglomerate LVMH bought the Grand-Cru estate of Clos Des Lambrays near the village of Morey-St.-Denis, marking their entree to a region peppered with excellent vineyards. The picturesque hub of Beaune continues to draw interest with annual projects like Lumières de Beaune, light installations on the village’s half-timbered houses. Not to be outshone, Dijon is debuting a pair of projects this year: the new Vertigo, a Design Hotel opening in January; and a new beach on Lake Kir that’s made with 350 tons of imported sand. Bourgogne has also been nominated for Unesco’s 2015 World Heritage list, specifically for its 100 historic appellations that have deepened the collective understanding of the concept of terroir. ADAM H. GRAHAM

16. Lower Manhattan, New York

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Brookfield Place. CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times
Ground Zero is in the midst of a remarkable comeback.
More than a decade after 9/11, the southern tip of Manhattan is becoming one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The long-awaited One World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, which opened last year, will soon be surrounded by an appealing array of dining, shopping and lodging establishments. A stunning transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava will join theFulton Center and its dazzling oculus. Eataly, Mario Batali’s ultra-popular food hall, will soon have a sister location downtown.Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center) is completing major renovations to make way for over a dozen upscale boutiques, a second food market, and a restaurant by the celebrity chef Joël Robuchon. The new Pier A Harbor House offers fresh seafood, craft beers and hard-to-beat harbor views. Also underway: a series of luxurious condominiums and lodgings, including the Beekman Hotel, set in a turreted 19th-century building with ornate interiors. PAOLA SINGER

17. Tanzania

Game crossing the Serengeti. CreditAnd Beyond
A safari revival in troubled times.
Security fears in neighboring Kenya have inadvertently worked in Tanzania’s favor, as far as tourism goes: Its luxurious new lodges are enticing diverted visitors. The ever-popular Serengeti retains its cachet with high-profile openings. Asilia Africa’s secluded Namiri Plains property and roving mobile camp Kimondo opened in July, followed by Legendary Expeditions’ Mwiba Tented Camp in August, and a revamp of &Beyond Grumeti Tented Camp is slated to be unveiled this April. But the real new treasure here is unprecedented access to sparsely trafficked regions. Nomad Tanzania opened Kuro amid the baobab-studded landscapes of Tarangire; Azura opened a new camp in southern Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, home to large concentrations of elephant, wild dog and leopard; while Ruaha, one of Tanzania’s largest yet least visited national parks, is now home to Nomad’s new Kigelia camp and Asilia’s Kwihala. Not to be outdone by its bush brethren, the alluring isle of Zanzibar is scaling up its luxury hotel offerings in the form of the coming Park Hyatt Zanzibar. SARAH KHAN

18. The North Coast of Peru

The beachside town of Huanchaco. CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times
A desert coast begs to be explored.
As tourism in Peru expands beyond the obligatory trip to Cuzco, this often-overlooked desert region is opening up. Lindblad Cruises has added stops in Trujillo, near important archaeological sites like the adobe city of Chan Chan and the Moche pyramid complexes of Sipán and El Brujo, which have opened museums in recent years. In town, the Libertador hotel, set in a Spanish colonial mansion, has undergone a $2 million renovation. Farther north, the Chaparrí Reserve outside of Chiclayo, a habitat for highly threatened Andean spectacle bears, will have a bit of pop-cultural relevance this year with the release of a Paddington Bear film, built around a member of the species "from deepest, darkest Peru." If you’d prefer nature by day and boutique digs by night, the eco-hotelier Inkaterra is following up the opening of the six-room KiCHIC, in the low-key surf village of Mancora, by laying the groundwork for community-based tourism projects like sport-fishing and whale-watching charters at nearby Cabo Blanco, a former Hemingway fishing hangout, while pushing to establish a marine reserve and eventually a hotel. NICHOLAS GILL

19. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Strawberry Park Hot Springs. CreditMorgan Rachel Levy for The New York Times
Celebrating a century of skiing.
This winter marks the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s oldest continually operating ski area. In late 1914, a Norwegian bricklayer named Carl Howelsen cleared trees and brush from a steep hillside overlooking Steamboat Springs to build what would eventually become Howelsen Hill Ski Area. These days, with its one double chair, three surface lifts and 440 vertical feet of skiing, Howelsen Hill is overshadowed by the ranching and mining town’s bigger resort, Steamboat, which has 16 lifts, a 3,668-vertical-foot drop and recently expanded night skiing and new summer biking trails. But don’t let size matter: Howelsen has produced at least 88 Olympians over the years. Head to Steamboat Springs in February for theWinter Carnival to celebrate a century of skiing in the West with jumping exhibitions, tubing parties and parades. TIM NEVILLE

20. Oman

Irrigation canals in the town Birkat al Mawz. CreditChristian Bobst/13 Photo, via Redux
The Middle East’s best-kept secret no longer.
The sultanate of Oman shares little with the United Arab Emirates aside from a border: The staggering peaks in Oman’s landscapes come from mountains not skyscrapers; its dramatic coastlines owe little to man-made engineering; and the unending hubbub of Dubai and Abu Dhabi is contrasted here with the sheer silence of Oman’s numerous wadis, or ravines. But don’t expect this idyll to remain unspoiled for long. Oman has lately been in the throes of a hotel boom of Dubai-like proportions: Alila Jabal Akhdar opened against a staggering mountainscape last year; next up, Anantara is planning two resorts — a rival for Alila in Jabal Akhdar and another along the Dhofar coast in the south — and Radisson Blu moves in to Sohar, a historic port in the country’s northern reaches. Four Seasons, W, Kempinski, Fairmont and Aman are said to be planning forays.SARAH KHAN

21. Cleveland, Ohio

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. CreditDustin Franz
A comeback fueled by art, culture and King James.
When LeBron James decided to return to his roots, Cleveland was already rallying after decades of decline. A milelong stretch of Detroit Avenue is now the Gordon Square Arts District, the city’s newest creative hub. Waterfront warehouses are being transformed into restaurants and retail spaces. And the recent reopening of theMuseum of Contemporary Art in a modern mirrored, hexagonal structure has solidified the Uptown district’s newly hip status. Another reason to visit this year? To beat the politicos who will descend on the city for the 2016 Republican National Convention.INGRID K. WILLIAMS

22. Sri Lanka

A peacock in Yala National Park. CreditKevin Schafer/Corbis
More stability means better access to more treasures.
While tourism on this South Asian island was growing in fits and starts for almost a decade, visits to the region were hampered by unrest. Lately, however, the country seems genuinely stable, and a new generation of hotels is offering luxurious and creative accommodations. The 40-room Cape Weligama opened on a 12-acre site overlooking the Indian Ocean. This spring, TRI, a new 10-suite hotel will also offer a boutique option on the banks of Lake Koggala, with a cantilevered pool and treetop yoga studio; in November, the Wild Coast Lodge will make its debut on a beautiful beach in Yala National Park, with 28 luxury tents and an Ayurvedic spa. Infrastructure is also improving. Exhibit A is a coastal highway that has made the journey between Galle and Colombo a snap.ONDINE COHANE

23. New Orleans, Louisiana

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Crescent Park in the Bywater area. CreditWilliam Widmer for The New York Times
Resilient and renewed, a decade after Katrina.
This year, the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic hurricane, the city will showcase just how far it has come, with events planned to commemorate the victims, and unveilings to highlight its rebirth. Through Jan. 25, Prospect.3 New Orleans, puts the spotlight on the burgeoning arts scene here in an exhibition of works by more than 50 contemporary artists. In March, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestraopens in a new home that has a state-of-the-art performance space, as well as exhibits of current and former jazz greats. And the new development of the South Market District will be home to a diverse set of businesses, including the highly anticipated restaurant Ursa Major and the furniture store Arhaus. Further signs of the city’s recovery are evident in new lodging, like the just opened Le Meridien and Aloft New Orleans Downtown, to open in New Orleans’s Central Business district in late February.ONDINE COHANE

24. Adelaide, Australia

The waterfront area of Adelaide, on the River Torrens. CreditBen Goode/Alamy
On the southern coast, art, food and more.
Sure, Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is close to both wine country and beaches. But there are more reasons to stay in the city, thanks largely to an energetic arts scene — anchored this year by festivals like the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, SALA and the biennial Adelaide Film Festival — and robust dining scene that encompasses everything from street (Fork on the Road) to posh (Hill of Grace, atop the redeveloped Adelaide Oval). Stellar local ingredients can be found at South Australia’s first organic and sustainable market and so can inspired menus (Sean’s Kitchen), while cool bars (Maybe Mae) and cafes (La Moka) dot a renewed West End precinct. Adding to the city’s vitality are Art After Darkand First Fridays: live music, speakers, exhibitions and screenings during extended hours at Samstag Museum, the design-centricJamFactory, Art Gallery of South Australia and galleries. The cultured atmosphere extends to lodging: In February The Watsonbecomes Adelaide’s newest art hotel. ROBYN ECKHARDT

25. Georgia

A shopowner sells dried fruits and nuts at the Dezertiri Market in Tbilisi, Georgia. CreditDavid Hagerman
A wine revival at the foot of the Caucasus.
Georgia has all the makings of the next great wine destination: the world’s longest-running unbroken wine tradition (underground fermentation in clay vessels), hundreds of indigenous grape varieties, stunning landscapes and a band of vintners espousing natural methods. Its output has all become easier to sample, too, thanks to wine bars in the capital, Tbilisi (Konka, Vino Underground), a marked wine trail in Kakheti and wineries (Pheasant’s Tears, Iago’s Winery, Winery Khareba) serving traditional and modern Georgian cuisine. Those varietals will be feted this year at four major events: the New Wine Festival, Wine City Tbilisi at Tbilisifest, Telavino and the Tbilisi Cheese Festival.TasteGeorgia, a new local venture, can arrange food and wine tours, private meals with winemakers and tastings in Kakheti and beyond.ROBYN ECKHARDT

26. Manchester, England

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The John Rylands Library. CreditLuke Wolagiewicz for The New York Times
A former industrial hub shows off its sophisticated side.
A flurry of cultural openings fills the 2015 calendar of this now edgy city, beginning with the completion of the Whitworth, a ₤15-million renovation and expansion of the former Whitworth Art Gallery into its adjoining park with an art garden and sculpture terraces in February. In the spring, the ₤25 million HOME, a film center and theater, will open. Last fall, the Regency-style former home of the 19th-century writer Elizabeth Gaskell, known to her publisher, Charles Dickens, as "Scheherazade," opened as a visitor attraction. But it’s not all high culture. This soccer stronghold will be home toHotel Football, opening in March next to the Old Trafford stadium. The hotel, backed by five former Manchester United players, is one of four new boutiques in the pipeline. ELAINE GLUSAC

27. Campeche, Mexico

The ruins of Calakmul. CreditJoe Ray
A less-touristed ancient Maya city.
Deep in the Yucatan peninsula’s jungle-shrouded interior, in the heart of a protected biosphere reserve, lie the extensive but little-known ruins of Calakmul, which in its seventh-century prime was one of the most powerful cities in the Maya world. Last year Unesco recognized 1,280 square miles of the tropical forest surrounding it as a World Heritage site, making the ruins and jungle together Mexico’s first "mixed" property on the World Heritage List, recognized for both natural and cultural value. Morning visitors to the 10-plus-square-mile site, where pyramids rise above a forest canopy populated by monkeys and toucans, can experience a solitude unthinkable at tourist-clogged Maya sites like Chichén Itzá.ELISABETH EAVES

28. Greenland

In Qassiarsuk, a village near Narsarsuaq. CreditYadid Levy/Anzenberger, via Redux
Greener than you’d think.
Visitors to Greenland often go for whale-, iceberg- and glacier-watching tours, but active overland travel (beyond dog-sledding) is now becoming more enticing. Working farms sit among the fjords of southern Greenland, where a changing climate and a longer growing season have fueled interest in the new Greenlandic cuisine. Hikers can walk along trails between farms near Qaqortoq and Narsarsuaq for rustic beds and unusual farm-to-table meals like whale skin with angelica herb, garlic and rosemary pickles. One farm, the Ipiutaq Guest House, recently won Greenland’s first concession for exclusive access to a world-class arctic char fishery. Land a fish and the French chef Agathe Devisme will prepare it with wild herbs collected from the property. TIM NEVILLE

29. Papua New Guinea

Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands. CreditMirjam Evers
One of the Pacific’s most isolated corners opens up.
This island nation has long been off the radar for most visitors, mainly because of the difficulty of getting there. Tourism is set to boom, however, now that the country has begun welcoming mega-cruise ships. P & O Cruises docked its first 2,000-passenger ship in the turquoise waters of Milne Bay on the southeastern coast in late 2013, and this year it is expanding its Papua New Guinea fleet and adding several new destinations, including Madang province, a popular diving spot. In remote areas, more eco-lodges are popping up, as well, such as the Lake Murray Lodge, a rustic retreat that opened last June on the shores of the country’s largest lake, a bird-watching paradise. JUSTIN BERGMAN

30. Bend, Oregon

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The Deschutes River, outside Bend. CreditTyler Roemer for The New York Times
New trails and ales beckon.
Once a frontier logging town called Farewell Bend, this picturesque city of 80,000 is a seductive spot for travelers who are into craft brewing and the great outdoors. The Bend region has 26 breweries, three wineries, two craft spirit distilleries, two cideries and the Cycle Pub, a tour that allows visitors to quaff craft beers while powering a sort of mobile pub by cycling. Two new distilleries, Cascade Alchemyand Backdrop, and a new cidery, Far Afield, are set to open this year. Bend has nearly 300 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, including two new ones, Tyler’s Traverse and Duodenum; a soon-to-open fat-bike trail (at Wanoga Sno-Park); world-class skiing atMount Bachelor; and an embarrassment of riches for hikers, fishermen, climbers, stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers.DAVE SEMINARA

31. Rabat, Morocco

Rabat, a World Heritage site. CreditYuri Kozyrev/NOOR, via Redux
A seaside spot on the rise.
Long overshadowed by the Hollywood luster of Casablanca and the storybook Moorish cities Fez and Marrakesh, this seaside metropolis — the capital of Morocco and a Unesco World Heritage site since 2012 — is finally in the limelight. The city, with its Roman ruins, labyrinthine medieval districts, European-style boulevards, recently expanded airport and sleek modern tram system, got another boost this fall with the long-awaited opening of the Musée Mohammed VI, the nation’s first modern and contemporary art museum. A much-anticipated Ritz-Carlton resort is to open in late 2015, so Rabat is set for a style infusion, as well. SETH SHERWOOD

32. Squamish, Canada

Visitors wait for a rare show of northern lights at Porteau Cove, outside Squamish. CreditRemy Scalza
A mountain town now more than a stopover.
Can a $22 million gondola put a Canadian mountain town on the world map? Maybe. An hour’s drive north of Vancouver, Squamish has long been a pit stop for the 9.5 million travelers who go to Whistler ski resort each year. But last spring, the new Sea to Sky Gondola began shuttling passengers nearly 3,000 feet from sea level to a perch in the surrounding Coast Mountains. Already, nearly a half-million people have made the ascent. Many are sticking around after the ride down, drawn by an unusual combination of West Coast wilderness and accessibility. Hundreds of trails weave through Pacific rain forest to glacial lakes, waterfalls and peaks. Kiteboarders ply a 26-mile fjord, adventurers climb 2,300-foot Stawamus Chief, and birders gather for the annual return of thousands of bald eagles.REMY SCALZA

33. Seoul, South Korea

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The Dongdaemun Design Plaza. CreditJean Chung for The New York Times
Over a million new square feet of art, architecture and design.
In 2014 the Dongdaemun Design Plaza alighted like a silver spaceship in a gritty old shopping neighborhood in the South Korean capital. Designed by the Pritzker-prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the 900,000-square-foot, neo-futuristic, curvilinear exhibition space has helped transform the area around it into an international design hub. Visual-arts-minded visitors should also check out the 560,000-square-foot Seoul branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, opened in 2013 with the aim of being to the Korean capital what the Museum of Modern Art is to New York City, and the new 121,000-square-foot National Hangeul Museum, which is dedicated to the much-admired, ultra-rational Korean alphabet. ELISABETH EAVES

34. St. Kitts

Kittitian Hill. CreditJean-Philippe Piter
Upscale in the Caribbean, but sustainable, too.
The 65-square-mile island of St. Kitts is best known for its annual music festival, with performers ranging from Michael Bolton to Nas. Now two landmark hotel developments will put this lush, unpretentious island on the map for luxury. In the south, Christophe Harbour — a grand development featuring a new mega-yacht marina, Tom Fazio golf course and trendy beach club, SALT Plage — will in 2015 break ground on the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt. Transforming the mountainous north, meanwhile, is Kittitian Hill — not just a lavish resort but a sustainable community, honoring all things local, with a 400-acre organic farm, "edible" golf course on a former marijuana farm, plush accommodations and farm-to-table cuisine. There are even plans for a film institute, fine art residency program and weekly fish fry. The airport’s plush YU Lounge, a private jet terminal that opened this year, will make the influx of upscale travelers feel right at home. BAZ DREISINGER

35. Shikoku, Japan

Iwayaji Temple on the island. CreditJTB/UIG, via Getty Images
Anniversaries abound on Japan’s smallest main island.
Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, is the site of a pilgrimage trail established in 815 that winds past 88 temples. Since celebrations of the ancient route’s 1,200th anniversary were held last year, the 750-mile trail can be enjoyed in relative peace. One particular stop of note is the city of Matsuyama. It is home to several of the temples and the castle-like Dogo Onsen bathhouse, which at 120 years old is one of the country’s oldest natural hot-spring public baths. And a new Japan Rail pass, released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the high-speed Tokaido Shinkansen, will make traveling between Tokyo and the island by train even easier this year. INGRID K. WILLIAMS

36. San Antonio

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The city's River Walk. CreditMalú Alvarez for The New York Times
New attractions and renewed cultural depth.
San Antonio’s riverside promenade, River Walk, one of Texas’s most visited attractions, was expanded in 2013 from three to 15 miles, linking to four of the city’s historic Spanish colonial missions, a $358 million investment that has inspired a path-side development boom. In late 2013, the Briscoe Western Art Museum opened in the former San Antonio Library. Last September, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, host venue to the San Antonio Symphony and nine other cultural institutions, joined the River Walk, adding an outdoor performance plaza, 30-foot video wall and water-taxi stand. The River Walk now reaches the redeveloped Pearl Brewery, home to restaurants, a cooking school and, in spring, the 146-room Hotel Emma from Kimpton Hotels. ELAINE GLUSAC

37. San José del Cabo, Mexico

Flora Farms. CreditRigoberto Moreno
A historic Baja city bounces back in style.
The two cabos — capes — that make up Los Cabos offer equal access to sun and sea, but San José del Cabo feels mellower than its sibling city, Cabo San Lucas. Yet it is developing an increasingly appealing dining and hotel scene. In September, the organic farm, restaurant and hotel Flora Farms lured Aaron Abramson away from the celebrated Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, and in November it opened a store selling its own meat and produce in the city’s central historic district. A block away, the stylishly minimalist eight-room hotel Drift also opened its doors last year. Both of the cabos are coaxing visitors back with discounts after Hurricane Odile wreaked havoc last fall. ELISABETH EAVES

38. Alentejo, Portugal

The Ecorkhotel in the Évora district. CreditFernando Guerra
Bored With Bordeaux? Tired of Tuscany?
"Wine is nectar for a sweet life" reads a quote on the wall of the newTorre de Palma, Wine Hotel, which opened last year in the Portuguese region of Alentejo. If so, then Alentejo — a big-sky expanse of grain fields, olive groves, cork forests and vineyards — is in a sweet spot indeed. Chic wine-themed hotels and resorts have been sprouting in bunches, showcasing the area’s complex red wines and sun-baked terroir. The Malhadinha Nova hotel and spa pairs its wines with cured hams from black pigs raised on its grounds, while the seaside Herdade da Comporta serves up beach and golf alongside its vineyards. For design buffs, the three-year-old L’AND Vineyards resort has interiors designed by the Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, a Caudalie wine spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and suites with retractable roofs for viewing the real stars. An homage to wine’s constant companion (and a regional staple), the two-year-old Ecorkhotel bills itself as the world’s first cork-covered hotel, complete with chromatherapy spa and an "eno-gastronomic" restaurant. With the opening this fall of L’AND Reserve — a bolder wine resort with nearly 40 more such suites — the sky’s the limit.SETH SHERWOOD

39. The Catskills, New York

The Graham & Co., a popular hotel in Phoenicia, N.Y. CreditBrandon Harman
Not your Bubbie and Zadie’s getaway.
Something funny is happening in this mountainous region 100 miles north of New York City, where Jewish comedians like Woody Allen once performed at Borscht Belt resorts: The Catskills are being reshaped by a new generation of fresh-air-seeking urbanites. On summer weekends the tiny hamlet of Phoenicia resembles Williamsburg North, with pilgrims drawn by the Graham & Co., a 20-room hotel started by four Brooklynites, and the local favorite,Phoenicia Diner. And with Vogue-approved spots like the Italian restaurant Cucina and short-stay cabins Woodstock Way, Woodstock has moved beyond its tie-dyed hippie image. What hasn’t changed is the abundance of outdoor activities: world-class trout fishing, rafting on Esopus Creek and skiing at Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Ski Center. STEVEN KURUTZ

40. Quebec City, Canada

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The city's Rue du Petit-Champlain. CreditJoe Klementovich for The New York Times
N.H.L. team or not, the Quebec capital is scoring.
Long overshadowed by nearby Montreal, Quebec City is stocking up on attractions, and seeking an N.H.L. team to again call its own. To that end, the city has been building Quebecor Arena, a state-of-the-art stadium costing an estimated $400 million to open before the 2015 season. It may take years to score an N.H.L franchise, but even without a big-time team to cheer, the capital of Quebec — and French Canada — has many new draws to keep visitors entertained, from the newly hip St.-Roch neighborhood to innovative restaurants serving nouveau Québécois cuisine to rival its neighbor’s finest.INGRID K. WILLIAMS

41. Canton Valais, Switzerland

Vineyards in Canton Valais. CreditJean Revillard
Celebrating two milestone birthdays with bonfires and wine.
Switzerland’s bilingual Canton Valais — home to the ski destination Zermatt and the iconic Matterhorn — is celebrating two milestones: the 150th anniversary of Edward Whymper’s ascent of the Matterhorn and the canton’s 200th birthday. To mark the occasions, officials are throwing a canton-wide fete that includes a bonfire light show atop 26 different summits; open air theatrical performances; an eco-friendly refurbishment of the 19th-century Hörnlihütte, a rustic guesthouse; and the opening of Cube 365, a plush single-bed hotel cube that will move to 52 sites throughout the year. There’s also a new wine museum in Salgesch, which opened in 2014 and showcases the region’s unusual varietals, like petite arvine and humagne rouge. Say pröstli or santé (depending on whom you’re drinking with) and enjoy a glass. ADAM H. GRAHAM

42. Île-de-France

The Fondation Louis Vuitton. CreditBertrand Guay/AFP, via Getty Images
Beyond the Périphérique of Paris, a flurry of new sites.
Forget the arrondissements of Paris. Now, Île-de-France, the district that encompasses the city and its outskirts, has become a destination in its own right, one that will welcome tourists back after the week's violence there. The outward expansion began in 2012 with Larry Gagosian’s 17,760-square-foot gallery Gagosian Le Bourget, seven miles north of Montmartre, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin, housed in a former factory. Fall 2014 saw the opening of Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton, in the Bois de Boulogne, with its dazzling facade outside and pieces by Ellsworth Kelly and Olafur Eliasson inside. At the other end of Boulogne, the Molitor, a derelict 1960s swimming hall turned art-stuffed hotel, offers upscale lodging. The 2,400-seat Philharmonie de Paris’s Grande Salle, designed by Jean Nouvel, is scheduled to open this year in Parc de la Villette — just barely inside the Périphérique. ADAM H. GRAHAM

43. Danang, Vietnam

The Marble Mountains rise up from Danang. CreditJoel Collins
A coastal gateway becomes a destination in its own right.
For the last couple of decades, Danang, on the central coast of Vietnam, has been the place travelers flew into to get to historic Hoi An, a Unesco-protected but tourist-swarmed neighbor 20 miles to the south. But this city of almost a million people has become a worthy destination in its own right. After an airport expansion in 2011, resorts began popping up along the coast. Last year, two luxury lodgings were added: Premier Village and A La Carte Danang Beach. And Danang’s charms — long, sandy beaches and kiosks selling bahn mi sandwiches overflowing with pork and pickled papaya and fresh herbs — are even easier to reach since Dragon Air began direct flights from Hong Kong in 2013. DAVID FARLEY

44. Chengdu, China

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The chef Lan Guijin prepares noodles at his restaurant Yu Zhi Lan. CreditDavid Maurice Smith for The New York
A panda and food capital gets the upscale treatment.
Pandas are this city’s drawing card, but adventurous chefs and boutique hotels are now giving visitors a reason to linger after seeing the star residents. Chengdu’s food is known for its fire, but at restaurants like Yu Zhi Lan, where an exquisite 20-course meal is served on the chef’s homemade pottery, it’s also refined. The hotels have a new sophistication, too. Temple House, a Swire Hotels property opening early this year, follows the success of Opposite House in Beijing and Upper House in Hong Kong, mixing modern Chinese design with the preservation of courtyard buildings from the Qing dynasty. Getting to Chengdu is also faster since United’s introduction last year of direct flights from San Francisco — the first from the continental United States. JUSTIN BERGMAN

45. Miami Beach, Florida

The city's Atlantic coastline. CreditJonathan Pozniak/Gallerystock
A white-sand spot is getting seriously fancy.
After months of buzz, the Faena District will finally welcome visitors in the summer. This sprawling development, spanning six blocks north of South Beach, includes residential towers, a hotel and an arts center, all promising unprecedented splendor. It was conceived by the Argentine tastemaker Alan Faena, a man with enough clout to tap the architects Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas, as well as the film director Baz Luhrmann and his set-designer wife, Catherine Martin, to bring the project to life. But these are not the only boldface names contributing to the area’s revamp. The hoteliers Ian Schrager and Jason Pomeranc designed gleaming new properties—Edition and Nautilus, respectively — and the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger just purchased the 1940s Raleigh hotel with plans to refresh its classic glamour. PAOLA SINGER

46. Shanghai

The village Zhouzhuang, near Shanghai. CreditLiron Almog/Redux
A cultural awakening in a city both glitzy and historic.
The knock on Chinese museums is that they look impressive on the outside, but the art isn’t worth the price of admission. This is changing in Shanghai, thanks to the opening of several private museums with curatorial aspirations to match the beautiful facades. Last March, the collectors Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei, known for their attention-grabbing art auction purchases, opened the Long Museum (West Bund), which was followed two months later by the Yuz Museum, exhibiting installation works in an airport hangar converted by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. In November came yet another: the 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, in the former French pavilion from the 2010 World Expo.JUSTIN BERGMAN

47. Tulsa, Oklahoma

The city's historic Art Deco center. CreditChristopher Smith/Tulsa World
A Deco downtown leads a revival.
When the rest of the country was still recovering from the Great Recession, Tulsa was flush with oil money. Its historic Art Deco city center received a much needed investment boom, fueling two major new museums opening in the Brady Arts District in 2013 and another — the OKPop Museum, dedicated to Oklahoma’s place in pop culture — still to come. Along the Arkansas River riverfront, one of the largest public parks projects in the country broke ground in late 2014. Designed by the architects behind Brooklyn Bridge Park, the $350 million green space will be completed in phases over the next two years. Nearby, the new Route 66 Experience, an interpretive center devoted to the Mother Road, is set to open as early as late 2015. FREDA MOON

48. Rome, Italy

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The ruins of the Domus Augustana on Palatine Hill. CreditNadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times
Recent restorations of ancient sites beckon.
No matter your favorite era, Rome has something new for travelers in pursuit of history. To commemorate last year’s 2,000th anniversary of Augustus’s death, sites related to the first emperor have been refurbished and reopened to the public: In September, thePalatine Museum, which showcases objects excavated from Imperial palaces, reopened, and the Villa of Livia in suburban Prima Porta unveiled refreshed artworks and new exhibition space. Elsewhere, restoration of the Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, an Augustan-era funeral monument, concluded late last year. Nero’s Domus Aurea, a sprawling first-century villa, partly reopened in October and willwelcome visitors at least until March. A more recent monument, the 18th-century Trevi Fountain, is being restored by Fendi; completion is scheduled for the fall. KATIE PARLA

49. Cáceres, Spain

Wild asparagus at the restaurant Atrio. CreditCarles Allende
Where history, art and gastronomy meet.
Cultured gastronomes are rushing to Cáceres, an ancient walled city — and Unesco World Heritage site — blending Roman, Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance architecture halfway between Madrid and Lisbon. The buzz is all about food and art and started with the opening of Atrio, a breathtaking modernist hotel and restaurant (with two Michelin stars and perhaps the best wine cellar in Europe) artfully inserted into a historic honey-colored stone structure in the old city. Now with Cáceres reigning as Spain’s Gastronomic Capital for 2015, everyone is upping their game, especially the bustling tapas joints around the newly restored Plaza Mayor. A new arts center showcases the collection of cutting-edge contemporary art donated by the renowned Madrid dealer Helga de Alvear. ANDREW FERREN

50. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Steep terrain at Taos Ski Valley. CreditLiam Doran
A ski destination heads to the big leagues.
Despite its rugged scenery and Old World Alpine charm, Taos Ski Valley has been outshone by its megaresort competitors. But with the ski area’s sale last December — from the Blake family, who founded it 60 years ago, to the billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon — the resort is getting a much-needed shot in the arm. The most notable change this winter is the addition of a chairlift to 12,481-foot-tall Kachina Peak, opening up expert runs that had been reachable only by hiking, skis in hand, for 45 minutes, from the top-of-mountain ski patrol headquarters. In addition, trees were thinned in the Wild West glades, opening up 35 acres of new tree skiing. Significantly, Taos has also invested in its snowmaking, with a huge upgrade that will allow the area to open more terrain earlier. Meanwhile, the base village got its first round of upgrades this summer, with a renovated day lodge and some reconfiguration of shops and restaurants. Visit while it’s still manageable.CINDY HIRSCHFELD

51. Baku, Azerbaijan

The Old City, with the Flame Towers in the distance. CreditSergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
Oil fuels an architecture and tourism boom.
Baku’s mix of ancient culture and Dubai-style extravagance is putting it on the tourist map at last. A second oil boom — the first was in the early 20th century — in the Azeri capital has brought enormous wealth to this city on the shores of the Caspian Sea, and with it, a new skyline. The government has recently been converting oil money into rich architectural projects that encircle the Unesco-protected walled historical center. Eye-catching additions include the Flame Towers, three tongue-shaped 600-foot-tall skyscrapers (one housing a Fairmont Hotel), flames dancing on their facades, and the undulating white waves of the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Center. New luxury hotels include a Four Seasons, Hilton andKempinski; this summer, the 33-floor sail-like Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku will join them — and just in time for the very first European Games, a multi-sport Olympics-like event, taking place in June. DAVID FARLEY

52. Kas, Turkey

Kas, a diver's paradise on the Mediterranean. CreditRob Hammer/Aurora Photos
Priced off the Greek Isles? Try southern Turkey.
Kos is out. Kas is in. Economic cataclysm in Greece aside, prices remain high on the Greek islands, which increasingly have less to offer the all-inclusive-resort-averse tourist. Enter the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and its gem, Kas. While the nearby town of Kalkan has fallen victim to hordes of hard-partying Brits (many a Kalkan restaurant now serves "Full English" brekkies), the old fishing village of Kas remains relatively untouched. Known largely as adivers’ paradise, the city has a hippyish sensibility, partly owing to a number of jazz-playing waterfront watering holes. Visitors interested in the past can use Kas as a base for visits to the nearby Lycian cities of Patara and Xanthos. KATIE ENGELHART
Reader’s Choice: January 2015

Maui, Hawaii

Carolyn Cioffari
My boyfriend’s father lived on Maui for many years until he died there three years ago. We have been back every year since, and it has become like a second home. I’ve found the best experiences there come when you take it slow. During a recent visit, we stopped along the Road to Hana at Honomanu Bay. Our friend Kyle grabbed his surfboard to head up the river to explore, pausing momentarily to take a dip in honor of his birthday. CAROLYN CIOFFARI


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I have traveled far and wide and lived in South Africa, the UK and Malaysia. 

I am a technical person that never forgets anything. Recalling it at the right time though is a struggle.

I have always worked with IBM technologies and worked for them for many years. I now do my best to migrate people away from IBM technologies.


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