Skift Take

TripAdvisor's list of the top 25 destinations is more reliable than any publication's list of top places to visit since it shows where people have actually gone and enjoyed in the past year.

Asian hotspots like Shanghai, Siem Reap, and Hanoi are replacing vacation choices like New York City, Barcelona, and San Francisco as the most popular destinations in the world.

Six of the top 25 destinations highlighted in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice Awards are located in Asia, but what’s really eye-opening is that four of those cities jumped at least 10 places in the past year.

Beijing moved up 17 spots to number four, Siem Reap jumped 14 spots to number nine, Shanghai climbed 12 spots to the number ten, and Hanoi landed on the list for the first time at number 8.

Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, jumped eleven places to number one.

They’re replacing vacation incumbents like Paris and Sydney, which dropped 6 and 12 spots in the past year.

The award winners are determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quality and quantity of one year of reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants in 471 destinations worldwide. The list represents where people are actually traveling rather than where people are looking to go or interested in.

The significant jump of Asian destination is caused, in part, by an increase in Asian travelers.

“Asian travelers are traveling in increasing numbers, visiting destinations in Asia and abroad, which may account for the increase in their popularity,” says a TripAdvsior spokesperson.

“A BCG-TripAdvisor study indicates that by 2030, 49 percent of all passenger traffic globally will be within the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region or between APAC and the rest of the world, up from 37 percent today.”

The top 25 destinations based on the quantity and quality of TripAdvisor’s reviews is outlined below:

Destination Change in Ranking (YOY)
Istanbul + 11
Rome + 2
London 0
Beijing + 17
Prague + 4
Marrakech, Morocco + 13
Paris – 6
Hanoi, Vietnam New
Siem Reap, Cambodia + 14
Shanghai + 12
Berlin 0
New York City – 10
Florence – 5
Buenos Aires + 4
Barcelona – 10
St. Petersburg + 4
Dubai New
Chicago – 4
Cape Town – 3
Bangkok – 7
Budapest New
Sydney – 12
Lisbon New
Chiang Mai 0
San Francisco – 18

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Tags: istanbul, tripadvisor

Photo credit: Locals and tourists walk in the main square of with Hagia Sophia in the background. Moyan Brenn / Flickr

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