Marrakech was named the top destination in the world for 2015 in TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers' Choice Awards, knocking last year’s winner Istanbul out of the top slot. The rankings are based on reviews from the travel site’s users.
"Marrakech claimed the number one spot for the first time, while Siem Reap in Cambodia jumped seven places up to second in the rankings. Istanbul, Hanoi and Prague completed the World top five list,” the company said in a press release Tuesday.
The allure of exotic Moroccan food and the bustle of the city’s labyrinthine medina drove Marrakech up from its sixth place ranking in 2014.
Steve Jackson, the UK’s Top Contributor of photos to TripAdvisor in 2014 said, “Marrakech is one of those cities that should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a fantastic city to explore, rich in history and culture, and between the sea of street activity, bright colours and striking sunsets, it is a truly intoxicating experience.”
"This year’s awards have revealed several destinations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe that are outperforming more traditional holiday destinations in North America and Europe,” the company said in its press release.
New York, the top U.S. destination, failed to make the world top 10 for the second year in a row. While Istanbul fell to No. 3 on the world list, it still captured the top ranking for Europe, with Prague coming in second and London third. Major win for Middle Eastern tourism, all around.
However, the region didn’t fare as well on the ranking of the world’s top beaches, with the Red Sea beach of Sharm El Luli in Egypt the highest ranked in the region at No. 19.
The full World Top 10 Destinations:
- Marrakech, Morocco
- Siem Ream, Cambodia
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Hanoi, Vietnam
- Prague, Czech Republic
- London, United Kingdom
- Rome, Italy
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Paris, France
- Cape Town, South Africa