TripAdvisor Announces Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise for 2016

Gatlinburg, Tennessee #1 in the U.S; Tulum, Mexico Tops in the World

World’s Largest Travel Site Identifies Top Spots Growing in Popularity According to Feedback From Millions of Travelers

NEEDHAM, Mass., Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice™ awards for Destinations on the Rise. Gatlinburg in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains is named the top U.S. destination on the rise, while the beach resort town of Tulum, Mexico earned the ranking of number one in the world. In addition to the U.S. and world, Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise lists were also revealed for Asia, Europe, South America and the South Pacific.

The awards highlight 52 destinations around the world selected by using an algorithm that primarily measured the year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveler feedback and interest in accommodations, restaurants and attractions, across destinations worldwide.

“Our well-traveled community has helped us identify the destinations around the world that are gaining in interest and popularity,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “We hope these destinations inspire those planning their travel for 2016 to book trips to these locales that feature excellent hotels, restaurants and attractions, and also provide a great vacation value.”

Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise – U.S:

1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee (+67% booking interest YoY1)
Tucked away in the peaks of eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg offers outdoor recreation year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park described by a TripAdvisor reviewer as “beautiful, clean and very peaceful.” After exploring the scenic sights, travelers can dine on delicious American cuisine at the Cherokee Grill where guests rave about the steak, savory mac and cheese and Maryland crab cakes.

Great value hotel2 options in Gatlinburg:

2. Orange Beach, Alabama (+91% booking interest YoY)

Located on the sun-kissed shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Orange Beach is a great location for travelers seeking rest and relaxation. TripAdvisor reviewers recommend a sunset catamaran cruise with Sail Wild Hearts where they will see “absolutely breathtaking scenery.” Those craving fresh Gulf seafood must try the “artfully presented” fare such as the fried oyster with caviar at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina.

Great value hotel options in Orange Beach:

3. Destin, Florida (+32% booking interest YoY)

Known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin is home to miles of white-sand beaches with glistening turquoise water including Henderson Beach State Park, referred to as a “hidden treasure” by one TripAdvisor reviewer. After spending the day frolicking in the sun, travelers are invited to enjoy the “Catch of the Day” while watching the sunset at the Beach Walk at Henderson Park Inn.

Great value hotel options in Destin:

4. South Lake Tahoe, California (+34% booking interest YoY)

Home to the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe offers stunning panoramic views that can be seen from the Gondola at Heavenly—something that “everyone needs to experience,” according to a TripAdvisor reviewer. In between outdoor adventures, travelers can refuel at Base Camp Pizza Co. serving the “best pie on the planet.”

Great value hotel options in South Lake Tahoe:

  • Alder Inn, bookable on TripAdvisor for an average of $120 per night
  • Americana Village, bookable on TripAdvisor for an average of $148 per night
  • Stardust Lodge, bookable on TripAdvisor for an average of $158 per night

5. Jackson, Wyoming (+40% booking interest YoY)

Nestled in the Hoback Mountain Range, Jackson serves as an ideal playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Travelers will have the chance to explore Yellowstone National Park during an excursion with BrushBuck Wildlife Tours where they’ll catch a glimpse of roaming bear, bison and elk. For a “really yummy and fun experience,” TripAdvisor reviewers suggest the tapas and wine at Bin 22.

Great value hotel options in Jackson:

6. Estes Park, Colorado (+56% booking interest YoY)

Located in the Rocky Mountains, this scenic destination is a nature lover’s paradise. Travelers are invited to view the magnificent vistas from the Estes Park Aerial Tramway, described as “a must if you like breathtaking views,” by one TripAdvisor reviewer. In between outdoor adventures, guests can indulge in scrumptious comfort food at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern, a “great local bar with fabulous eats and excellent service.”

Great value hotel options in Estes Park:

7. Anchorage, Alaska (+34% booking interest YoY)

From the shores of Bootleggers Cove to the snow-covered peaks of the Chugach Mountains, this unique city has it all. TripAdvisor reviewers recommend biking along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which provides a “great Anchorage experience.” At Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, travelers will be delighted by the “tastiest and most interesting pizzas in all of Alaska,” according to a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Great value hotel options in Anchorage:

8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (+31% booking interest YoY)

This year Pittsburgh has attracted travelers from around the world with its colorful history and charm. Visitors to Steel City will be enlightened by The Nationality Rooms, which provide an “interesting glimpse into the nationalities and culture of the people who settled in the area,” according to a TripAdvisor reviewer. Travelers can continue their cultural excursion over dinner at Istanbul Sofra, where they’ll enjoy a “delicious and authentic Turkish meal.”

Great value hotel options in Pittsburgh:

9. Portland, Maine (+36% booking interest YoY)

Along the rocky coast of southern Maine lies the quaint city of Portland, where travelers walk along brick sidewalks lined with trendy cafés, boutiques and art galleries. After exploring the outdoors, travelers are encouraged to check out the installations at the Portland Museum of Art, described as a “jewel box” by one TripAdvisor reviewer. For a “culinary delight,” travelers recommend Street and Co. where guests rave about the Maine lobster bread pudding.

Great value hotel options in Portland:

10. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (+13% booking interest YoY)

This historic fishing village located on the sun-soaked Kona Coast, now serves as an idyllic retreat where travelers can explore the natural splendor of Hawaii. TripAdvisor reviewers suggest paying a visit to the Mauna Kea Summit, which provides “once-in-a-lifetime views.” As the day winds down, travelers are invited to dine on local seafood while watching the sunset at Fish Hopper Seafood and Steaks.

Great value hotel options in Kailua-Kona:

Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise – World:

1. Tulum, Mexico (+74% booking interest YoY)
2. Cartagena, Colombia (+49% booking interest YoY)
3. Porto, Portugal (+39% booking interest YoY)
4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee (+67% booking interest YoY)
5. Moscow, Russia (+27% booking interest YoY)
6. Brighton, United Kingdom (+60% booking interest YoY)
7. New Delhi, India (+28% booking interest YoY)
8. Banff, Canada (+43% booking interest YoY)
9. Lima, Peru (+33% booking interest YoY)
10. Foz do Iguacu, Brazil (+34% booking interest YoY)

For the complete list of Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise award-winners for 2016, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to:

Notes to editors:
1Increase in booking interest year-over-year is based on TripAdvisor data for October 2014 through October 2015 as measured by meta clicks.

2Highly-rated value hotels have a minimum rating of four out of five bubbles on TripAdvisor. Average nightly hotel rates are based on TripAdvisor data for December 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016 for individual hotels. Rates are aggregated from booking partners, including online travel agencies and direct hotel suppliers.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 290 million reviews and opinions covering 5.3 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 47 countries worldwide.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 23 other travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,,, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, July 2015

**Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique users, Q3 2015

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