Ask any of your friends what their favourite city is and
you’ll probably get a different response. We are, to state the obvious, all
different. While some of us love a city rich in culture, for others it’s all about
the dining experience or the shopping. From the best hotels to luxury spas,
well-known sites or exploring unknown areas, we each have our own opinions
about which cities speak to us most.
Of course, this isn’t particularly helpful for the traveller
looking to book a city break that they’ll love. Unless you’re willing to invest
considerable time researching all manner of potential city destinations you
could be in for a nasty surprise. Surely, there has to be better option?
Fortunately there is, thanks to luxury travel magazine
Conde Nast who have just published their latest annual Travel Awards. Even
better, rather than being voted for by a small group of industry insiders,
these results are all voted for by the magazines’ thousands of readers – giving
a far broader range of experiences on which to base the findings.
There are two different leader boards for the top city
destinations for travellers; readers ranked the top cities worldwide and the
top cities within the UK. Unsurprisingly the results make for some very interesting
New York tops the list of international destinations with
Paris and Rome coming in second and third respectively. According to official
statistics, New York received an astonishing 52.7 million visitors last year when both
international and domestic tourists are combined. That’s an increase in almost
2 million visitors from the year before.
However what makes for particularly interesting reading are those
cities featured slightly further down the list of winners. Hong Kong, for
example, clocks in at number eight ahead of classic city destinations like Las
Vegas and Amsterdam. Sneaking in ahead of these titans of the travel world were
also Berlin and Vancouver; both of whom will no doubt benefit from their
increased reputation thanks to the awards.
In the UK-based rankings, few people will be surprised that
London was voted the best city to visit. Edinburgh’s history and culture
managed to bring it in at number two while Bath ranked third.
What is particularly noticeable from the rankings are how
many formerly ignored UK cities are managing to re-invent themselves in the new
millennium. Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds all gained impressive rankings
within the top 15 UK city destinations.