Our users have spoken. Yesterday we launched the first three categories of the 2015 Travelers' Favorites Awards: Top Destinations, Best Winter Destinations, and Rising Stars.
The Trip.com Travelers' Favorites Awards, released annually, celebrate the best places that our members discovered all over the world, from the most amazing hotels and restaurants to their favorite beaches and guided tours.
It doesn't hurt that this year, destinations like Venice (a Top Winter Destination), India (Hyderabad is a Rising Star) and Tokyo (a Top Destination) are more affordable than they've been in a while, thanks to the strong dollar. Plus, India's nifty new visa on arrival system, introduced late last year, adds an extra incentive to visit the subcontinent. Read more on how much you'll save, and other newly affordable destinations, in our blog post over here. Or keep reading for more on our January winners.
Trip.com users love the classics. This year, New York City is bumped to number one from its second place slot last year. While residents are facing the everlasting march of gentrification (brilliantly sent up on SNL last week) and enjoying the lowest crime in ages, and travelers are still willing to pay top dollar for access to some of the nation's best restaurants, hotels and culture. Asia wins big this year, as well, with Shanghai and Hong Kong in the top 10 and Bangkok, Singapore and Tokyo also on the list. Check out all Top 20 Destinations here.
Southern California tops the list with ski destination Big Bear Lake. But the Eurozone quickly catches up, with Venice, Prague and Oslo garnering the next three spots on the list. Sapporo, Japan, also wins for its snow fest, and frigid midwestern metropolis Minneapolis is a surprising winner - users love the arts scene and skyways keeping them toasty. See all 20 winners here.
Who doesn't want to look into the future? This year's (very international) list sees Vatican City on the rise (no small thanks to that spectacularly popular Pope) along with increasingly hip Eastern European capitals like Belgrade and Riga. It's Reykjavik, Iceland, however that takes top honors...between the hot springs, northern lights, and now cheaper flights from the States, our users couldn't ignore this city anymore. Outside Europe, Fortaleza, Brazil is gaining fast, as is Panama City and Perth, Australia. Philadelphia (number 6) was the only Stateside city to make the cut, a large part in thanks to its exploding restaurant culture. See the complete list of Rising Stars here.
Ed. note: We take a number of different factors into account when selecting our winners, looking at hundreds of thousands of reviews as well as other signals such as trips planned, Tribe specific data and postcards created during specific seasons (for our season specific lists) on trip. We hope the reviews and postcards (snapped by passionate travelers like you) inspire you to plan your next adventure in one of our top cities, winter destinations, or Rising Stars...maybe even somewhere you never thought you'd go.
This post originally appeared on the Trip.com blog.