With its white and black sand beaches, emerald rice terraces and some of the world’s best spa hotels, Bali has been crowned the world’s favourite destination.
Travellers who use the TripAdvisor website have praised an island that for many embodies exoticism, dripping in lush vegetation and soaked with a spirituality that is as easy to stumble upon as the delicate offerings of petals placed on its pavements each morning.
Shrines featuring grimacing demon queens sit in the shadow of the island’s mystical volcanoes, while golden beaches in the south are pounded by surf that attracts Australian tourists. It was the first time that Trip Advisor had taken islands into account when compiling its Traveller’s Choice ratings.
Price may have a lot to do with Bali’s popularity also, with Britons able to benefit from a high standard of food and accommodation for their money. The average nightly rate of all Bali’s hotels bookable on TripAdvisor was $A108.
London was the second most popular destination with TripAdvisor users. The favourites were determined by an algorithm that judges the quality and quantity of users’ reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in the past 12 months. It also considers traveller booking interest.
Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business and Chairman of London & Partners, welcomed the result. “London has the best selection of food, theatre, cultural events, museums and galleries anywhere in the world and we are welcoming more visitors than ever to enjoy the diversity of our great city,” he said.
“With new blockbuster exhibitions and shows opening, plus Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary and the ‘IAAF World Championships London 2017 and World Para Athletics Championships’ in the capital this year, we hope to further cement the city’s global status as one of the best places that there is to visit,” he added.
European cities fared well in the list of destinations most popular with travellers, with six making the top ten. After London came Paris, which is reassuring for the city’s tourism sector following the spate of terrorist attacks in 2015, then Rome. Crete was sixth in the list of favourites, followed by Barcelona and Prague, which ranked ninth.
In terms of UK destinations, Cumbria had much to celebrate, with Windermere and Keswick both in the top ten UK spots. Edinburgh came second after London, with the north of England managing to have more destinations in the UK top ten than the south.
Edinburgh, Windermere, Liverpool, Keswick, York and Glasgow take second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place respectively. While to the south of the UK and Channel Isles, London, Jersey, Isle of Wight and Bath come in first, third, ninth and tenth respectively.
Top 10 destinations around the world
1. Bali, Indonesia
2. London, United Kingdom
3. Paris, France
4. Rome, Italy
5. New York City, US
6. Crete, Greece
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Siem Reap, Cambodia
9. Prague, Czech Republic
10. Phuket, Thailand