LONDON - March 15, 2007 - London has confirmed its place as one of the world's most popular city destinations, leading a global survey on European travel plans and preferences. Conducted by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel community, the survey involved more than 2,100 travellers worldwide.
London Three Times Winner
There were triple laurels for London. Travellers endorsed the city's reputation as the entertainment capital of Europe by ranking it number one for nightlife (21 percent), well ahead of its nearest rivals Amsterdam (15 percent) and Paris (13 percent). Paradoxically London was also voted the best family-friendly European city even beating Italian cities, which have traditionally held that honour. And, despite its pricey reputation, London was ranked top for shopping by a massive 31 percent of travellers in front of Paris (18 percent).
London was voted second all-time favourite European city and was also runner-up for best city for art and culture. British travellers, however, rated London best city for art and culture (24 percent) ahead of Paris (16 percent), Rome (12 percent) and Florence (10 percent).
As with last year's European travel survey, London was just pipped by Dublin as having the most friendly and helpful locals, but American travellers placed London first in the most friendly stakes. British travellers rated Amsterdam as the second most friendly city after Dublin.
In and Out of Love with Paris
Meanwhile travellers' love and hate affair with Paris continues. The city was considered the all-time favourite by 18 percent as well as being top for romance and art and culture. Conversely, travellers also ranked Paris the most "overrated" European city, and voted the French as the most unfriendly hosts.
Edinburgh and Prague Underrated
Edinburgh tied with Prague as the most "underrated" European city. Prague also tied with Vienna as the top city in Eastern Europe to visit this year. In addition, Prague laid claim to the title for the best city for bargains in all of Europe.
For the second year running, Italy was voted as having the best cuisine in Europe, according to 43 percent of travellers. France was second and Spain third for gastronomic merit. Rome was recognized as having the most attractive locals.
The Most Annoying Travellers
According to respondents, the Germans (32 percent) are the most annoying while travelling on holiday, followed by the English (13 percent), French (12 percent) and Russians (six percent).
Up and Coming
Helsinki, Finland and Riga, Latvia were voted by travellers as the two biggest up and coming destinations in Europe.
Rising in the West
Meanwhile, travellers' love affair with Eastern Europe appears to have diminished. Seventy-two percent of travellers said they would rather visit Western Europe over Eastern Europe this year, up from 70 percent last year.
European Travel Plans
Sixty-four percent of all travellers surveyed said they will be travelling in or to Europe this year (up from 62 percent in 2006), and 50 percent of Americans plan to come to Europe in 2007, compared to 45 percent last year. Forty-two percent of travellers said the best time of year to travel in Europe is spring.
Said TripAdvisor European communications manager, Ian Rumgay; "Whilst the keen rivalry in tourism between London and Paris continues unabated, it would appear that London has shaded it this year by being nominated best or runner-up in many categories. Paris, it seems, has been let down by its reputation for poor service and failing to deliver on its promise."
"Best for nightlife and shopping might not be entirely unexpected, but London's top ranking as a family-friendly city may be something of a surprise. It is well-earned recognition for the extra effort and innovation that is needed to care for and entertain little tourists."