U.S. Travel Industry Experts Reveal Their Top Destinations and Experiences

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U.S. Industry execs and journalists choose their favorite travel destinations -- countries, cities, regions, and journies

Quite simply, we wanted to hear directly from seasoned travel experts within the industry and compare results in North America with those from Australia. We received a terrific response

NileGuide (http://www.nileguide.com), the one stop solution to trip planning for over 95 destinations, has announced the top countries, cities, and journeys as voted on by over 50 leaders in the North American travel industry. On the heels of a similar poll by Travel + Leisure Australia, NileGuide implemented its own survey to explore and compare the expertise of this continent.

"Quite simply, we wanted to hear directly from seasoned travel experts within the industry and compare results in North America with those from Australia. We received a terrific response," said Josh Steinitz, CEO and co-founder of NileGuide.

Top 10 Countries
1.     USA
2.     Italy
3/4. England & Argentina (tie)
5/6. Spain & Mexico (tie)
7.    Switzerland
8.    Brazil
9.    India
10.    Netherlands

As one might expect, the USA came out on top, with most industry execs agreeing that there is plenty to see in their own backyard. This was also reflected in the Top Journeys.

European countries polled well, occupying six out of the top ten positions. In particular, Switzerland made a surprising showing, with many respondents characterizing the country's natural beauty as "unforgettable."

Outside of India, Asia and Africa were left out of the mix. Many responded that it was less accessible and generally more expensive than traveling to both Europe and Latin America, especially when including airfare. Many experts also speculated that travel to India would suffer following the double blow of the Mumbai attacks and the financial downturn.

Top 10 Cities

1.    New York
2.    Hong Kong
3.    Rio de Janeiro
4.    Paris
5.    London
6.    Sydney
7.    Rome
8.    Tokyo
9.    Amsterdam
10.    Auckland

Not surprisingly, New York was the top choice. Jennifer Maguire, Senior Vice President at M. Silver Associates, a PR firm representing major travel and tourism clients, expressed the sentiment of her colleagues about New York - "eclectic neighborhoods, world-class cuisine (in every price range), a melting pot signifying all that America can be."

The Top 5 Journeys
1.    Driving Highway 1, California coast
2.    The Trans-Siberian Railway
3.    Hiking the Great Wall of China
4.    Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
5.    Hiking the Inca Trail

In addition to the classics above, there were some very interesting Favorites. Todd Sotkiewicz, President of Lonely Planet, Americas, claimed that his favorite journey was "heading to the Dunkeld Races." (The Dunkeld Races are a small horse racing meet in Victoria, Australia).

Top 10 Regions
1.    The Big Island, Hawaii
2.    The Rocky Mountains
3.    The Serengeti
4.    Lake Tahoe
5.    Napa / Sonoma Valley
6.    Bali
7.    The Andes
8.    The Italian Riviera
9.    Tuscany
10.    Bora Bora

While some old standbys prevail, the list also indicates that American travel industry experts are a more global-minded bunch than many international observers might suspect. The list indicates that our industry has a refined sensibility, but also an adventurous spirit and a taste for the exotic.

For additional results, including top icons and favorite hotels, visit the NileGuide blog.

About NileGuide
NileGuide is the only one-stop-solution for personalized travel planning. NileGuide is a completely free service that provides high-quality customized recommendations to allow anyone to plan their perfect trip. It is the world's first truly interactive travel guidebook.

Founded in 2006 and based in San Francisco, NileGuide is a private company whose investors include Draper Richards, KPG Ventures, Austin Ventures, and Tenaya Capital.


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Kirstin Hornby
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