Photo: Zukiman Mohamad//Pexels
There’s nothing quite like a vacation to lift one's spirits, especially during the doldrums of winter. For many, jetting off to new and exciting locales is one of life’s greatest pleasures — but it's important to do your research before you pick a destination for your next hard-earned vacation. It's easy to research common factors like popular tourist attractions, weather, or exchange rates, but one much less covered (but equally important) factor can be how friendly the people are.
In 2017, Travelbird decided to address this issue by compiling a list of the 100 friendliest cities in the world. The travel site analyzed the top 500 global tourist destinations, paying special attention to factors that make tourists feel welcome. They ranked the top 100 cities by creating a combined score that took into account whether or not a city had a welcoming port of entry (like an accessible airport or train station), the happiness of its citizens, their openness to hosting tourists in their homes, English language proficiency, and the amount of over-tourism each locale has to contend with during the year. To create the final results, Travelbird then combined their own data with a poll of 15,000 travel journalists who weighed in on how welcoming they found each city from their own experiences.
The end result? A well-researched list of the 100 most welcoming destinations for tourists. These locales are waiting for you to bask in the sun, take in their historic sites, or shop until you drop knowing that you’re helping the local economy rather than just contributing to chaotic traffic and endless lines. This list is your first step towards not only vacationing, but vacationing responsibly in cities that are waiting with open arms.