NEEDHAM, Mass., Dec. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced the Travelers’ Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise. The beautiful beach city of Kihei in Hawaii ranked as the top rising spot in the U.S., while the laid-back local scene of San Jose del Cabo in Mexico earned the ranking of number one in the world. 

The awards recognize 43 destinations around the world selected by an algorithm primarily measured by year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveler review ratings for accommodations, restaurants and attractions, and increase in booking interest. This is the fifth year of the awards and Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise lists were also revealed for Europe, Asia and South America.

“The Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise lists are great options for travelers seeking inspiration for fresh, trending places to book in the new year,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “These award-winning locations are emerging in popularity among the TripAdvisor community thanks to their highly-rated options for places to eat, play and stay for travelers.”

Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise – U.S:

(Excerpts in quotes below from TripAdvisor reviewers.)

1. Kihei, Hawaii  

Situated on Maui's western shore, Kihei offers an impressive selection of hotels and restaurants, catering to visitors who flock to dive, swim and sun themselves on its white sand beaches. The Maui Coast Hotel (seasonal average of $250 per night when booking on TripAdvisor) is a “great hotel with easy beach access.” Travelers can visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary Visitor Center for an excellent place to spot the whales and an “interesting and informative lecture.”

2. Park City, Utah

Just over a half hour drive from Salt Lake City, Park City boasts rugged beauty and outstanding skiing opportunities. For the thrill-seeking traveler, check out the bobsled run at the Utah Olympic Park for an “all-day active adventure with tons of fun!” Then, splash in the pool at the Hotel Park City, Autograph Collection, which has a seasonal average of $600 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

3. Portland, Maine

In Maine’s largest city, travelers can saunter down the brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets of the Old Port District, where they can eat to their heart's content. Taste the town with Maine Foodie Tours - Culinary Walking Tours where “the food and drinks are great, but nothing compares the charm and good company from the tour guide.” Later, rest at the luxurious and pet-friendly Portland Harbor Hotel, for a seasonal average of $256 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

4. Louisville, Kentucky

Each year, horse enthusiasts hoof it to Louisville and Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby. Travelers can take a tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum to learn about the history before watching the horses prep for their races. Trot over to the luxurious The Brown Hotel in the Central Business District for “spacious rooms” at a seasonal average of $199 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

5. Colorado Springs, Colorado

A crossroads for historians, sportsmen, architects, artists and gourmands, Colorado Springs offers a delightful mix of Western charms. Sunny skies and crisp mountain air make it a perfect place to explore the “absolutely breathtaking” Garden of the Gods. Then, the friendly staff at The Mining Exchange A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa “will make you feel at home” where travelers can book on TripAdvisor at a seasonal average of $178 per night.

6. Houston, Texas

Houston hums with an energy and independent spirit all its own. A leading cultural and culinary destination in the South, travelers can stay at The Lancaster, which is “a gem of a hotel in the theater district” for a seasonal average of $300 per night when booking on TripAdvisor. While there, wander through exhibits at The Houston Museum of Natural Science – “don’t miss the best dinosaur exhibit in the country.”    

7. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson's fantastic weather, national parks and forests and desert provide the perfect environment for tons of outdoor recreational activities with history and culture. Travelers looking for a “great place for a desert experience” can discover authentic desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Then, enjoy “an authentic cowboy experience” at the White Stallion Ranch for a seasonal average of $363 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

8. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee1

Set against the misty blue backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is a gateway to 500,000 acres of Appalachian wilderness. Head over to Dollywood for a combination of rollercoasters, waterslides, and live bluegrass and gospel concerts, with a down home country fair. Travelers can enjoy free parking and breakfast when they stay at The Inn On The River with a seasonal average of $119 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

9. Columbus, Ohio

Ohio’s capital city is full of beautiful neighborhoods, a critically acclaimed food scene and top-ranked attractions. Columbus is a city that invites exploration, travelers can walk around the Easton Town Center for “great shopping” and then bring their pets to the Hilton Columbus Downtown for a seasonal average of $211 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

10. Jacksonville, Florida

This sprawling northeastern Florida city has nature and wildlife preserves, historic residential neighborhoods and lots of golf courses. Attractions in Jax, as the locals call it, include The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, a “nice place to spend an hour or two on a beautiful day.” Then, experience a “quiet, trendy stay” at Hotel Indigo Jacksonville Deerwood Park for a seasonal average of $152 per night when booking on TripAdvisor.

Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise – World: 

1. San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

2. Whistler, Canada

3. Jericoacoara, Brazil

4. Kihei, Hawaii

5. Baku, Azerbaijan

6. El Nido, Philippines

7. Eilat, Israel

8. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

9. Tbilisi, Georgia

10. Jodhpur, India

For the complete list of Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise award-winners for 2017, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-DestinationsontheRise.

Notes to editors:

Booking interest is measured by year-over-year increase in hotel instant booking and meta activity on TripAdvisor from October 2015 – October 2016.

Highly-rated value hotels have a minimum rating of four and a half, out of five bubbles on TripAdvisor. Average 2017 nightly hotel rates are based on TripAdvisor data for January 2016-November 2016 for individual hotels. Rates are aggregated from booking partners, including online travel agencies and direct hotel suppliers.

1TripAdvisor is aware of the recent wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee. According to Tennessee tourism officials, Pigeon Forge businesses are operating as usual.  Travelers can find out more information regarding the status of affected areas at the Tennessee tourism website, www.tnvacation.com.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site**, enabling travelers to unleash the potential of every trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 390 million average monthly unique visitors*, and reached 435 million reviews and opinions covering 6.8 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 49 markets worldwide. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.

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*Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q3 2016

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, July 2016

 

CONTACT:

Elizabeth Monahan
781.500.5542
emonahan@tripadvisor.com