Ever since many pandemic-related travel restrictions were lifted in 2021, experts have noticed a change in Americans’ tourism habits.
For example, many travelers, inspired by television and streaming series such as HBO’s (WBD) – Get Free Report The White Lotus (involving a fictional resort chain) and Emily in Paris on Netflix (NFLX) – Get Free Report, are taking their cues on destinations suggested by pop culture.
Other travelers are basing vacations around other cultural activities such as culinary exploration.
“We put out a Trending Destinations list every year that highlights the places our card members are traveling to; 2023 is a mix of perennial favorites like Paris and the Florida Keys, and some lesser-known destinations like Woodstock, Vermont, and Montenegro,” said Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel AXP, according to Penta.
“While people are still revisiting the cities they love, we are also seeing an increase in trips to places that are off the beaten path,” Hendley added. “And as borders have opened post-pandemic, we’re seeing more trips being booked to places like Asia and Australia.”
In the second quarter of 2023, bookings through the American Express Travel network reportedly reached pre-Covid levels.
The world’s worst tourist attractions
Given these new travel realities, which are generally positive trends for the industry, one outfit decided to add to the conversation by warning tourists about sites that it might be best to avoid.
The blog Stasher used an unscientific Internet-based data formula for determining tourist site rankings. These included considerations such as Google (GOOGL) – Get Free Report reviews, TikTok engagement, distance from an airport, the host country’s Global Peace Index (GPI) and Booking.com’s average user rating for quality of local accommodation.
The world’s worst tourist attraction, according to the study, was the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
“It is not the first time the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles has been named the world’s worst tourist attraction,” Stasher wrote. “Back in 2019, our first tourist attractions study came to the same conclusion based on the data analysed, creating quite a bit of stir by prominent late-night talk show hosts.”
The site at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street received the lowest score in the study: 3.42 out of 10.
“The USA’s poor global peace index (3.85) also dragged Hollywood Boulevard’s tourist hub through the mud, with tourist reviews describing their experiences as ‘dirty’ and ‘unsafe,'” Stasher wrote.
Passengers onboard an aircraft.
Coming in second-worst on the list was The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.
“The Grand Bazaar scores poorly across the board, with a higher risk tourist safety score of 2.8/5 and a longer than average travel distance to the airport (45.7km),” Stasher reported.
“However, when it comes to accessibility from an international airport, the Taj Mahal in India (3rd) is the furthest away, with tourists facing a travel distance of 219km,” the report continued.
There was another U.S. tourist destination that ranked in the top four worst sites, according to the formula: Busch Gardens in Florida.
The study also evaluated the world’s best tourist attractions according to these data. Coming out on top was the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest.
“We hope this research is useful for travelers planning their next trip abroad and encourages people to visit destinations they may have not considered previously,” Stasher wrote in its report.
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