LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2007 -- VirtualTourist.com, the largest online travel research site and travel community in the world, reveals destinations -- in the United States and internationally -- forecasted to experience the greatest surge in travel buzz this spring.

VirtualTourist, consisting of 100% user-generated travel content, draws over five million travelers monthly, who research upcoming trips and share travel reviews, tips and photos from previous trips. Travelers ask and answer questions in the travel forums, and create custom travel guides with VirtualTourist's Trip Planner tool.

"Time and again we see the little-known gems find their way onto the road more frequently traveled. For the tourist not fond of crowds, the trick is to see these places before everybody knows about them. So that means see them now!" said Giampiero Ambrosi, General Manager of VirtualTourist. "In recent years we've seen the popularity status of countries like Croatia and Costa Rica quickly move from 'off the radar' to mainstream. Today's travelers' buzz points to cities like Salamanca in Spain, and Kotor, Montenegro."

Ambrosi added, "Some places, such as Canada's ski destination Whistler may already be considered a hot spot during a particular season but may not be as 'discovered' at other times of year. In spring and summer in Whistler, you can hike, ride a gondola and see incredible wildlife."

VirtualTourist analyzes the feedback and posting research activities of more than five million monthly unique users to determine the world's up-and-coming travel destinations. The VirtualTourist Up-and-Comers Index pinpoints locales that have experienced significant increases in interest over the past 12 months.


U.S. Destinations

Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ
Asheville, NC
Munising, MI
Bandelier National Monument, NM
Astoria, OR
Port Townsend, WA
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN
Burlington, VT
Mount Shasta, CA

International Destinations
Salamanca, Spain
Kotor, Montenegro
Whistler, Canada
Tbilisi, Georgia
Antrim, Northern Ireland
Mendoza, Argentina
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Lalibela, Ethiopia
Quedlinburg, Germany
Sihanoukville, Cambodia

About VirtualTourist.com

VirtualTourist.com is the largest online travel community in the world and a premier resource for travelers seeking an insider perspective on travel information, from Las Vegas hotels to New York City restaurants. On VirtualTourist, real people share real advice on places they've traveled as well as their hometowns; they research and plan trips, and they interact with other avid travelers via travel forums and email. VirtualTourist boasts more than 1.4 million travel reviews and 2.7 million photos on more than 25,000 destinations worldwide. Unbiased, user-generated content on Hotels, Attractions, Local Customs, Tourist Traps and much more is posted entirely by VirtualTourist's more than 860,000 registered members from over 220 countries and territories, and the site's Trip Planner feature allows users to create custom print-and-go travel guides. Among VirtualTourist's awards and accolades: "Sites that Changed Our World," The Guardian; "Favorite Website," Newsweek; "35 Best Travel Sites," Travel + Leisure.