Kathmandu 23rd in TripAdvisor’s top destinations list

KATHMANDU, March 23: Popular travel review portal TripAdvisor has listed Kathmandu as one of the world’s 25 best destinations under ‘2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards’

The portal has ranked Kathmandu in the 23rd position ahead of Sydney (Australia) and Budapest (Hungary).
TripAdvisor has said the award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveler booking interest on its website.

Along with top 25 best destinations, the travel website company has also identified top-rated hotels as well as popular tours, iconic attractions and upcoming events to offer. However, Nepal did not appear anywhere in other lists.

“The Travelers’ Choice Destination awards recognize the world’s most beloved travel spots, based on feedback and booking interest from the TripAdvisor community,” a TripAdvisor statement quoted Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, as saying.

Kathmandu is the only South Asian destinations in the TripAdvisor’s list which features London as the most favorite destination. Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo, among others, are other Asian destinations in the list. Similarly, Istanbul, Paris, Prague, Rome, New York City and Dubai are the other top destinations in the list.

“Nepal’s capital is surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples, shrines, and fascinating villages. Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square’s monuments, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel district,” reads the brief intro of the city posted on TripAdvisor. “Explore shops for exquisite work by local artisans-carpets and paper prints are specialties.”

The recognition by TripAdvisor has elated tourism entrepreneurs whose confidence was weakened by the devastating earthquakes of 2015 that battered the service industry.

“This is a very big achievement for Nepal’s tourism industry,” Ram Kaji Koney, former president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), said. “It has indicated that there will be a marked improvement in tourist arrivals in the coming year. The recognition has made us optimistic,” he added.