BY MELISSA LIN, Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Global travel company Lonely Planet has named Singapore the world’s number one country to travel to next year.

In its latest guidebook, Best in Travel 2015, published on Tuesday, Lonely Planet noted that multicultural Singapore is “always celebrating something” and has more reason to next year when it turns 50.

The book said “a slew of new developments has elevated the ‘Singapore experience’ to a new level”, from Marina Bay to “a new crop of swanky hotels”.

To coincide with its Golden Jubilee, Singapore is set to usher in a number of new attractions next year, including the National Art Gallery and the Singapore Sports Hub, it added.

Best in Travel 2015 is Lonely Planet’s 10th collection of the best destinations, experiences and travel trends. It is available in eight languages and sold in more than 100 countries. This is the first time that Singapore has made it to any of the lists.

Coming in second is Namibia, followed by Lithuania, Nicaragua and Ireland. The Republic of Congo, Serbia, Philippines, St Lucia and Morocco round up the list of top 10 countries.

The top country for 2014 was Brazil, host of the World Cup.

Singapore Tourism Board’s assistant chief executive Lynette Pang welcomed the accolade. “We are humbled by this tremendous result, and honoured by the recognition of Singapore’s efforts not just in tourism, but also in heritage conservation, greenery, dining, arts and many other areas.”

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