Trending Destinations for Travel-Starved Americans Revealed: Tripadvisor Announces 2021 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards

26 Jan
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Travelers Favoring Outdoor Destinations and Dreaming of Worldwide Travel

SAVIN HILL, Mass., Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Tripadvisor®, the world’s largest travel platform, released its annual Travelers’ Choice® Best of the Best Awards for Destinations, highlighting the Popular, Trending, and Emerging Destinations around the world, as well as a new category for 2021: National Parks. The awards are based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and things to do in destinations worldwide on Tripadvisor over a 12-month period.

The awards reveal where travelers ventured in 2020, while travel was still open, as well as where they dreamed of going while the pandemic kept them stuck at home. With travel restrictions in place for much of the year, travelers explored the world very differently — they took more local trips closer to home and favored outdoor spots, away from crowded cities. According to a recent survey of Tripadvisor travelers, more than half (52%) say they are more likely to take an outdoor or nature trip than they were before the pandemic1. As a result, the Travelers’ Choice Trending Destinations for 2021 are almost entirely outdoor destinations. Sun Belt destinations dominated the U.S. list, with Gatlinburg, Tennessee, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, taking the top spot in the United States. On the global stage, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is the number one Trending Destination, seeing the biggest spike in top reviews and ratings last year.

While COVID-19 kept travelers from exploring too far from home last year, it couldn’t stop them from indulging their wanderlust dreaming of the destinations that would be on their go-to list once travel opens up again. Topping the world’s Travelers’ Choice Emerging Destinations list — the places travelers are “saving” on Tripadvisor, and that everyone will be talking about next— is Martinique in the Caribbean.

“Alongside the latest vaccine developments, pent-up demand is prompting the world to think more about travel in 2021,” said Christine Maguire, vice president and general manager, global media business at Tripadvisor. “But one result of the pandemic may be the destinations they’re interested in. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 74% of travelers will spend more time selecting a destination when planning their next trip2. If you’re like me and already imagining your first post-vaccine vacation, this list of travelers’ favorite destinations can serve as your inspiration.”

Top 10 Trending Destinations in the U.S.
Trending Destinations recognize destinations that saw the biggest increase in a combination of positive ratings and reviews over the last year.

  1. Gatlinburg, Tenn.
    Good for
    : hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park, fishing, rafting
  2. St. Augustine, Fla.
    Good for
    : history buffs, beaches, wildlife
  3. Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
    Good for
    : beach lovers, exploring barrier reefs, kayaking
  4. Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
    Good for
    : hiking, camping, rollercoasters and bluegrass at Dollywood
  5. Moab, Utah
    Good for
    : mountain biking, rock-climbing, hiking
  6. Marco Island, Fla.
    Good for
    : beach lovers, seashell hunting, playing golf
  7. Estes Park, Colo.
    Good for
    : wildlife sightings, hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, backcountry skiing
  8. Hilton Head, S.C.
    Good for
    : sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, playing golf
  9. Clearwater, Fla.Good for: beach lovers, family activities, sailing
  10. Jackson, Wyo.
    Good for:
     skiing, rafting, fly-fishing

Check out the full list of the top Trending Destinations in the world here: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-TrendingDestinations

Top 10 Emerging Destinations in the World
Emerging Destinations showcase the spots with the greatest year-over-year increase in “saves” on Tripadvisor around the world. Different from the other categories, which highlight where travelers have already visited, the Emerging list identifies where they want to visit. These are the destinations travelers were dreaming of while they were stuck at home all year — and where they may go next.

  1. Martinique
  2. Panama City Beach, Fla., United States
  3. Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil
  4. Holbox Island, Mexico
  5. St Ives, United Kingdom
  6. Mazatlan, Mexico
  7. Colorado Springs, Colo., United States
  8. Shoalhaven, Australia
  9. Wroclaw, Poland
  10. Mudgee, Australia

Check out the full list of top Emerging Destinations in the world here: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-EmergingDestinations

Top 10 National Parks in the U.S.
When indoor activities shuttered in 2020, travelers headed to the great outdoors. Here are their favorite National Parks in the United States.

  1. Grand Teton National Park. Wyo.
  2. Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.
  3. Zion National Park, Utah
  4. Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
  5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.
  6. Glacier National Park, Mont.
  7. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
  8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, N.C.
  9. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
  10. Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Check out the full list of the top National Parks in the world here: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-NationalParks

Popular Destinations include the locations that travelers raved about most on Tripadvisor in the past year, comprising iconic world cities. Bali is the most popular destination in the world for 2021, rising from #4 last year to dethrone London. Check out the full list of Popular Destinations here:
www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations.

Methodology
The Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Destinations honor travelers’ favorite destinations worldwide based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings from Tripadvisor travelers for accommodations, restaurants, and things to do in destinations worldwide over a 12-month period (December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020).

  • The Popular Destinations category honors the locations that are the most popular among Tripadvisor reviewers. The methodology takes into account quality and volume of reviews to surface destinations that consistently deliver the best overall experience for travelers.
  • The Trending Destinations category honors the locations that showed the greatest year-over-year increase in a combination of positive traveler reviews and ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and things to do on Tripadvisor.
  • The Emerging Destinations category honors the locations that showed the greatest year-over-year increase in “saves” for accommodations, restaurants and things to do on Tripadvisor. Travelers can “save” their travel ideas and plans on Tripadvisor by tapping the heart icon on places to stay, restaurants, and things to do. Saves is a great indicator of what travelers are interested in doing in the future, as opposed to what they have done or are booking now.
  • The National Parks category honors the scenic and historically significant parks that are the most popular among travelers, according to reviews and ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and things to do on Tripadvisor.

Note to Editor

  1. Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of up to 2,400 consumers per survey, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted approximately every two weeks from 3/27/20 through 10/21/20 across six countries – U.S., UK, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan.
  2. Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of 2,330 consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted between 12/28/20 through 1/10/21 across six countries – U.S., UK, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan.

About Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform*, helps hundreds of millions of travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to browse more than 878 million reviews and opinions of 8.8 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. Tripadvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries of Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), own and operate a portfolio of travel media brands and businesses, operating under various websites and apps, including the following websites:

www.bokun.iowww.cruisecritic.comwww.flipkey.comwww.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.comwww.eltenedor.comwww.bookatable.co.uk, and www.delinski.com), www.helloreco.comwww.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.housetrip.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.niumba.comwww.seatguru.comwww.singleplatform.comwww.vacationhomerentals.com, and www.viator.com.

*  Source: SimilarWeb, September 2020
** Source: Tripadvisor internal log files

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SOURCE Tripadvisor Travel Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

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