Based on the millions of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers to its website, TripAdvisor yesterday announced the winners its sixth annual Traveler's Choice awards for destinations. Among the list of top worldwide destinations, no U.S. city placed in the top 10 and only three placed in the top 25.
New York City dropped 10 spots from last year to place at No. 12. Chicago and San Francisco also made the list, placing No. 18 and No. 25, respectively. The top spot was awarded to Istanbul. The winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.
Contributing to the likely drop in U.S. cities was a major jump in the popularity of Asian cities. Six of the top 25 worldwide spots are from Asia and three Asian cities saw a climb of at least 10 places in the world top 25 list year-over-year: Beijing jumped 17 spots to No. 4, Hanoi join the list this year at No. 8, Siem Reap rose 14 spots to No. 9, and Shanghai climbed 12 places to No. 10.
"Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world," says Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
Among the individual list of the top 25 U.S. travel destination, New York retained its spot at No. 1. Chicago and San Francisco swapped spots for No. 2 and No. 3, Las Vegas remained at No. 4, and New Orleans leaped ahead five places to take the No. 5 position. Completing the U.S. top 10 are Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Orlando.
Each of the top 10 U.S. travel destinations also ranked as top gay-friendly destinations in Community Marketing, Inc.'s 18th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey, published Dec. 2013.
Ten of the top 25 U.S. honorees are southern destinations and it was a particularly strong showing from the Lone Star state this year. Houston saw the biggest jump on the list -- rising 13 spots to No. 12. San Antonio moved up one spot to No. 16 and Austin was new to the list at No.18. Other southern spots that climbed the charts this year: include the previously mentioned New Orleans and Orlando as well as Charleston, S.C., Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville and Miami.
In addition to the U.S. individual lists are available for Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, China, Middle East, Russia, South America, the South Pacific, and the U.K. For a complete list of winners go to tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations.