A Year in Travel: Fodor's Reveals 2013's Most Popular Destinations and Emerging Hotspots

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Europe Makes a Post-Recession Comeback and Tropical Getaways Remain Hot While Smaller U.S. Cities and Regions Grow in Popularity

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Europe is back in a big way, with the strongest numbers we’ve seen in years.

Which destinations continued to be favorites among American travelers in 2013 and where are the new tourism hotspots? Fodors.com reveals the answers with their first annual list of the year’s most popular travel destinations according to the more than 4.5 million unique monthly visitors to the brand’s website. Of the 7,500 destinations Fodors.com covers around the world, the leading travel publisher has identified 2013’s top 50 worldwide travel locales as well as the 50 destinations that have grown most in popularity over 2012 based on destination-guide page views from natural search by American visitors to Fodors.com.

“Natural search is a strong indicator of travelers’ intent to visit a destination--these are people that came to us because they were actively researching a trip using a search engine,” says Arabella Bowen, Editor in Chief of Fodor’s Travel.

While New York City continued to top the travel charts in 2013, many of the U.S.’s charming small cities and regions emerged with record interest. Texas Hill Country, situated between Austin and San Antonio and home to a burgeoning wine scene, saw the most dramatic growth in 2013, with a 258% increase in page views according to Fodors.com website statistics. Charleston, S.C., Savannah, G.A., and New York’s Hudson Valley also saw increased interest in 2013 and joined New Orleans, Napa and Sonoma, and Washington, D.C. in the top 50 most-popular destinations for the year.

Europe, the subject of Eugene Fodor’s first guidebook, ON THE CONTINENT (published in 1936), experienced a post-recession resurgence in 2013. Paris and Rome appear in the top ten of the year’s most visited destinations on Fodors.com while Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Ireland and Iceland all saw page views more than double.

“Europe is back in a big way, with the strongest numbers we’ve seen in years, which is really exciting. A number of great events and cultural happenings like Ireland’s The Gathering as well as terrific travel values in countries like Spain have helped put a spotlight on travel to the continent,” said Bowen. “At the same time, we saw a shift to new regions in the United States, like Texas Hill Country and the Oregon Coast, which indicates the Fodor’s audience is always looking to discover new places and experiences, something the brand has long embodied.”

Highlighting the popularity of warm-weather destinations among Americans, the report also revealed that eleven of the top 25 most-visited destination guides on Fodors.com in 2013 were beach retreats. Hawaii is a perennial favorite, along with Caribbean islands like St. Martin and Turks and Caicos. Mexican hotspots showed tremendous growth last year, with travelers showing increased interest in Isla Mujeres, Los Cabos, and the Riviera Maya. Other beach destinations with a significant uptick in interest included Puerto Rico (particularly San Juan and Vieques and Culebra); St. John and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and the Dominican Republic.

To explore these great destinations and other locations around the world, with travel tips from the experts and more, visit http://www.fodors.com.


About Fodor’s Travel

The Fodor’s name has been synonymous with travel for more than 75 years. Our award-winning guidebooks, website, eBooks, and mobile apps provide today’s traveler with up-to-the-minute information to over 7,500 worldwide destinations. Our vast team of global correspondents offers highly curated, expert advice on how to travel smarter, from the best arts and culture offerings, to tips and strategies for an authentic and immersive experience, and the right hotels and restaurants for every taste and budget. Learn more at Fodors.com and join our engaged travel community on Facebook (facebook.com/FodorsTravel) and Twitter (@fodorstravel). Fodor’s Travel is an imprint of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.


1.    New York City, N.Y.
2.    Paris, France
3.    The Florida Keys
4.    San Francisco, C.A.
5.    New Orleans, L.A.
6.    Maui, H.I.
7.    St. Martin/St. Maarten
8.    Las Vegas, N.V.
9.    Rome, Italy
10.    Washington, D.C.
11.    Big Island, H.I.
12.    London, England
13.    Kauai, H.I.
14.    Bermuda
15.    Napa and Sonoma, C.A.
16.    Turks and Caicos
17.    Honolulu and Oahu, H.I.
18.    Seattle, W.A.
19.    Cape Cod, M.A.
20.    Los Cabos, Mexico
21.    Barcelona, Spain
22.    Savannah, G.A.
23.    Chicago, I.L.
24.    Boston, M.A.
25.    St. Lucia
26.    Montreal, Canada
27.    Miami, F.L.
28.    Charleston, S.C.
29.    Los Angeles, C.A.
30.    San Diego, C.A.
31.    Santa Fe, N.M.
32.    Philadelphia, P.A.
33.    Amsterdam, Netherlands
34.    Aruba
35.    Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
36.    Puna Cana, Dominican Republic
37.    The Hudson Valley, N.Y.
38.    Cayman Islands
39.    San Antonio, T.X.
40.    Venice, Italy
41.    San Juan, Puerto Rico
42.    Walt Disney World, Orlando, F.L.
43.    Cancun, Mexico
44.    Grand Canyon, A.Z.
45.    St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
46.    Buenos Aires, Argentina
47.    Florence, Italy
48.    Jamaica
49.    Quebec City, Canada
50.    Puerto Rico

Source: Top 50 destinations from natural search by total page views; American visitors to Fodors.com, 2012-2013


1.    Isla Mujeres, Mexico
2.    The Hill Country, T.X.
3.    St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
4.    San Juan, Puerto Rico
5.    Ireland
6.    Germany
7.    Italy
8.    Sicily, Italy
9.    Los Cabos, Mexico
10.    Iceland
11.    St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
12.    Riviera Maya, Mexico
13.    Dominican Republic
14.    Savannah, G.A.
15.    Cancun, Mexico
16.    France
17.    Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
18.    The Florida Keys
19.    St. Martin/St. Maarten
20.    Charleston, S.C.
21.    Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Mexico
22.    St. Barthelemy
23.    The Eastern Shore, M.D.
24.    Spain
25.    Hilton Head, S.C.
26.    Palm Springs, C.A.
27.    Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico
28.    Provence, France
29.    Hawaii
30.    The Oregon Coast
31.    Fort Lauderdale, F.L.
32.    Curaçao
33.    The Lower Gulf Coast, F.L.
34.    The French Riviera
35.    Tucson, A.Z.
36.    The Cyclades, Greece
37.    Tampa Bay, F.L.
38.    The Italian Riviera
39.    Kauai, H.I.
40.    Orlando, F.L.
41.    Yellowstone National Park
42.    Mexico City, Mexico
43.    Napa and Sonoma, C.A.
44.    Andalusia, Spain
45.    Rome, Italy
46.    The Loire Valley, France
47.    Austin, T.X.
48.    The Hudson Valley, N.Y.
49.    The Panhandle, F.L.
50.    St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Source: Top 50 destinations from natural search by page view increase; American visitors to Fodors.com, 2012-2013

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Katherine Fleming Punia, Director of Publicity
Fodor's Travel
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