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accidentaltravelwriter.net , February 7, 2011

World's Top 100 Travel Destinations in 2010

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February 7, 2011

Kiwi Collection has released its first-ever Top 100 Destinations list, and – demonstrating Asia's growing popularity as a travel destination – fully four of the top 10 destinations were located in the world's most populous continent.

Included were Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand's Koh Samui.

But it was the Big Apple that topped the list.

“With a weakened US Dollar, New Yorkers welcomed a larger than expected number of travelers from around the globe and claimed the number one position for booked and viewed hotels,” a press release issued by the Kiwi Collection says.

“Unsurprisingly, trendy destinations such as Paris, Dubai, London, Florence, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, and Venice snapped up top spots with ease.”

The list was compiled based on the Kiwi Collection's website analytics. It showcased the most popular hotel and resort destinations from a combination of consumer reservations and research browsing.

"Compiling such data provides insightful information into consumer behavior and possible trends for 2011," says President and CEO of the Kiwi Collection, Philippe Kjellgren.

1. New York

So nice, they named it twice, New York, New York, tops the Kiwi Collection's list of the world's 100 Top Travel Destinations. The Big Apple always does well on lists like this, but the weak US dollar has made the World's Capital more affordable than ever, attracting record crowds of bargain hungry world travelers.

2. Dubai

From open air souks – as bazaars are known in Arabic – to Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping arcade, Dubai is a shopper's paradise. With world class entertainment, great boating, fabulous restaurants, the tallest – and arguably most beautiful – skyscraper on earth, fabulous spas, excellent hotels and resorts, and palm lined beaches, Dubai is the prefect transit point to break up the long trip for travelers traveling between Europe and Asia.

3. London

Despite the poor economy and the volcanic eruption that grounded flights in the Capital of Cool for an extended period during the peak travel season in 2011, London came in third in the Kiwi Collection's survey.

“It is very positive news for London that our attractions have seen a growth in visitor figures despite a challenging year,” says Sally Chatterjee, CEO of Visit London.

“While the majority of the year experienced a steady increase in visitor numbers, external factors such as weather, air strikes, and the volcanic ash disrupted the overall growth.”

A Few Surprises

Political unrest disrupted life for several weeks in Bangkok last spring. Tourists, in fact, had to be evacuated from several hotels, and a shopping mall was burnt to the ground.

Nevertheless, the Thai capital came in as the sixth most popular travel destination in the Kiwi Collection survey. Any negative impact on tourism seems to have been short lived.

“Bangkok has shaken off concerns over safety to once again become an in-demand culture capital offering exceptional value for money at the luxury level,” the Kiwi Collections press release says.

But it was Singapore rather than Hong Kong that came in as the most popular travel destination in Asia, with Bangkok coming in second. Not good news for the Hong Kong Tourism Board. But it could have been worse! Imagine if Shanghai had aced the Pearl of the Orient?

Even more surprising, Southern Thailand's Koh Samui trumped Phuket, coming in 10th place. And Florence, Italy, rounding out the top 10, beat Rome by five spots.

Kiwi Collection's Top 100 Destinations List for 2010

Here's the full list. For fun, I've indicated which cities I've lived in (one “+” for each time) and which cities I've visited (one “*” for each visit). To be honest, I haven't even heard of several of these travel destinations.

1. New York+, 2. Dubai, 3. London**, 4. Paris, 5. Singapore, 6. Bangkok ******, 7. Vancouver, 8. Hong Kong+++, 9. Florence, 10. Koh Samui**,11. Milan, 12. Phuket**, 13. Beverly Hills*, 14. Rome, 15. Providenciales, 16. Marrakech, 17. Barcelona, 18. Venice, 19. Buenos Aires, 20. Las Vegas*, 21. Lithgow, 22. Shanghai****, 23. Baie, 24. Beijing*, 25. Nairobi, 26. San Francisco+, 27. Chicago*, 28. Municipio de Comala, 29. Miami,30. Istanbul, 31. Cape Town, 32. Hua Hin**, 33. Miami Beach, 34. Tokyo*, 35. Cannes, 36. Sydney,37. San Diego*, 38. Mexico City, 39. Elounda, 40. Solidariadad, 41. Washington, DC**, 42. Amsterdam, 43. Ubud*, 44. Playa del Carmen, 45. Punta Cana, 46. New Delhi, 47. Mumbai, 48. Macau+, 49. Berlin, 50. Madrid, 51. Athens, 52. Boston, 53. Nusa Dua, 54. Prague, 55. Vilamoura, 56. Melbourne, 57. Sao Paulo, 58. Lisbon*, 59. Scottsdale, 60. Udaipur, 61. Bora Bora, 62. Rio de Janeiro*, 63. San Jose del Cabo, 64. Chiang Mai, 65. South Beach, 66. Santa Monica, 67. Sabi Sand Reserve, 68. Antigua, 69. Montego Bay, 70. Seminyak Beach*, 71. West Hollywood*, 72. Krabi. 73. San Miguel de Allende, 74. Geneva, 75. Uluwatu, 76. Jimbaran*, 77. Toronto, 78. Masai Mara Reserve, 79. Lech -Arlberg, 80. Vienna, 81. Hvar, 82. Abu Dhabi, 83. Great Barrier Reef, 84. Soufriere, 85. Stockholm, 86. Cabo San Lucas, 87. Montreal, 88. San Pedro de Atacama, 89. Cusco, 90. Madikwe Game Reserve, 91. Sunny Isles Beach, 92. St. Moritz, 93. Kuala Lumpur, 94. Grumeti Reserves, 95. Jakarta*, 96. Jaipur, 97. Seville, 98. New Orleans, 99. Negril, 100. Hoi An.


Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: New York' Statue of Liberty Photo Credit: British Airways

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