Fall 2006 Travel Hot Spots Revealed by the Travel Experts

From New York to Bangkok, Kihei to Reykjavik, VirtualTourist announces this fall’s 20 most popular travel destinations, plus the top 20 up-and-coming locales, based on travelers’ research patterns on VirtualTourist.com.

Manhattan Beach, CA (PRWEB) September 7, 2006 — Popular online travel research site and travel community VirtualTourist.com reveals the destinations—U.S. and International—forecasted to be this fall’s most traveled to locales, as well as the locations experiencing the greatest surge in travel buzz.

VirtualTourist.com is the largest travel research site and online travel community in the world consisting of 100% user-generated travel content. More than five million travelers use VirtualTourist each month to research upcoming trips, and to share travel reviews, tips and photos from spots they’ve already visited. Travelers ask and answer questions in the travel forums, and create custom travel guides with VirtualTourist’s Trip Planner tool.

“It’s the vibrant activity within the VirtualTourist community that provides us with invaluable, up-to-the minute insights into the places that travelers are researching and talking about, ” said Giampiero Ambrosi, General Manager of VirtualTourist.

“In the past we’ve seen destinations like Split, Ljubljana and Tamarindo rise out of obscurity and into the consciousness of the VirtualTourist travel community. These destinations have gone on to become mainstream vacation spots,” Ambrosi said. “Right now, the buzz is all about less obvious locales in Eastern Europe and South America, places in countries including Croatia, Estonia, and Uruguay.”

“And with fall on the horizon, travel researchers on VirtualTourist are showing a seasonal interest in nature destinations that exhibit incredible foliage, as well as an interest in those locations that quiet down after summer but have an ideal window of time to visit before they cool off too much in winter,” Ambrosi added.

VirtualTourist analyzes the research activities of more than five million monthly unique users to determine the world’s most popular and up-and-coming travel destinations.

The VirtualTourist Travel Forecaster identifies locations most popular among travel researchers. While the VirtualTourist Up-and-Comers Index pinpoints locales that have experienced the greatest swell in interest over the past 12 months.

U.S. Destinations
1 New York City, NY
2 Las Vegas, NV
3 San Francisco, CA
4 Boston, MA
5 Los Angeles, CA
6 Chicago, IL
7 Waikiki, HI
8 Tampa, FL
9 Minneapolis, MN
10 Orlando, FL

International Destinations
1 Bangkok, Thailand
2 Rome, Italy
3 Paris, France
4 London, England
5 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
6 Phuket, Thailand
7 Prague, Czech Republic
8 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
9 Mumbai, India
10 Barcelona, Spain

U.S. Destinations
1 Kihei, HI
2 Estes Park, CO
3 Portland, ME
4 Stowe, VT
5 Juneau, AK
6 Canyon de Chelly, AZ
7 Cannon Beach, OR
8 Olympic National Park, WA
9 Eureka Springs, AR
10 Madison, WI

International Destinations
1 Reykjavik, Iceland
2 Yangshuo, China
3 St. John’s, Canada
4 Punta del Este, Uruguay
5 Trogir, Croatia
6 Tanna, Vanuatu
7 Porto Seguro, Brazil
8 Pecs, Hungary
9 Antoneys Cay, Honduras
10 Tallinn, Estonia

*Based on travel research conducted and travel forum questions posted on VirtualTourist.com between 8/1/06 to 8/31/06.
** Based on increases in travel research conducted and travel forum questions posted on VirtualTourist.com from August 2005 to August 2006.

About VirtualTourist.com
VirtualTourist is the largest online travel research site and travel community in the world, and a premier resource for traveler’s seeking an insider perspective. On VirtualTourist, real people share real advice on places they’ve traveled as well as their hometowns; they research and plan trips and vacations, and they interact with other avid travelers via forums and email. By the numbers, VirtualTourist boasts 1.4 million travel reviews and 2.5 million photos on more than 25,000 destinations worldwide. Unbiased, user-generated content on Hotels, Attractions, Local Customs, Tourist Traps and much more is posted entirely by VirtualTourist’s more than 770,000 registered members from over 220 countries and territories. Among VirtualTourist’s awards and accolades: “Recommended Travel Forum,” Time Magazine; “Most Popular Guide,” Yahoo!

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