A lot of these cities/areas have colleges you can pick for study abroad! ** DB
Travelers planning their summer getaways got hot tips on Tuesday — 50 of them, to be exact, when TripAdvisor announced the winners of its sixth annual Travelers’ Choice Awards. Vacation planners’ go-to locales make up the top-25 Traveler’s Choice Destination Lists for the United States and the world.
Winning destinations make the lists based on reviews and opinions from travelers who use the review and booking site.
“TripAdvisor has 260 million monthly unique visitors,” Julie Cassetina, TripAdvisor’s senior public relations specialist, told Yahoo Travel. “Using algorithms, over a 12-month period, we’re able to identify peak months and highest traffic to destinations, as well as taking into account user reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants.”
Nearly 500 destinations worldwide grabbed coveted spots on the lists. “We saw new additions on both the US and World Destination Lists that people are excited about, whether it’s due to iconic sites and landmarks or outstanding restaurants, beaches and hotels,” Cassetina said.
TripAdvisor noted newcomers and spot jumpers. Perhaps the most notable wasIstanbul, Turkey, which took top spot among world destinations, up from its former No. 11 position. One reason Cassetina gives for the surge: affordability. “Like many of the international destinations, particularly in Asia, Istanbul offers a great value with one U.S. dollar equaling two Turkish lira.”
Another trend TripAdvisor saw among the Top 25 in the world was an increase in Asian destinations. “Six of the top spots are from Asia, with four climbing at least 10 spaces over the past year,” Cassetina said. “These Asian cities are great for sightseeing, cuisine, weather and value.”
In the group was Beijing, up 17 spots to No. 4; Hanoi, a newbie on the list, grabbing No. 8; Siem Reap, up 14 spots to No. 9; and Shanghai, climbing 12 rungs to No. 10.
Other Asian winners were Bangkok (No. 20) and Chiang Mai (No. 24). “We’re especially pleased to see not one, but two Thai destinations recognized by TripAdvisor as part of the 2014 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Destinations in the World,” Tourism Authority of Thailand – New York director Srimala Waraphaskul told Yahoo Travel. “Thais are known for being both friendly and hospitable, and this recognition is particularly gratifying because the voters are those who have intimately and positively experienced our destination with their loved ones and friends.”
Several U.S. destinations ranked high on the world list: New York City (No. 12, down 10 slots), Chicago (No. 18, down 4 spaces), and San Francisco (No. 25, down 18). . . . .