Want to avoid the crowds? Head to a city or country on the State Department watch list. Want to avoid crowds and stay safe? Head to a city that used to be.
History moves faster than the travel industry and the best places to visit are often yesterday's war zones. The main reason the pendulum swings so far so fast is that tourists are a tremendous boon to struggling economies and are generally welcomed with open arms in places where unrest has led to instability. That makes traveling to formerly dangerous places smart for both selfish and humanitarian reasons.
New Orleans, USA
Why You Didn't Want to Go: When Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy in 2005, it hit hard. A significant chunk of the local population was displaced, businesses went under literally and figuratively, a waves of crime followed.
Why You Want to Go Now: Travelers are coming back to New Orleans for the same reason that travelers have come to New Orleans for centuries: It's one of the most engaging cities on Earth. There is music, all the usual Mardi Gras nonsense, and a renewed sense of civic pride that stems from having survived the worst case scenario.
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