Top Underwhelming Tourist Destinations – Do You Agree?

hollywood walk of fameA new thread on reddit has tackled the world’s most “remarkably underwhelming” destinations. The thread captures reader comments from the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” website that allows readers to submit feedback to threads in a variety of categories. Here’s what readers are saying. Do you agree?

The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
“The Hollywood walk of fame is a dirty, tacky *!)P&%$! and has the highest concentration of even worse gift shops in the entire world.” – A-punk

The Mona Lisa at the Louvr
“It’s much smaller and less impressive than you might think.” – IAm_Fhqwhgads_AMA

Honolulu
“Honolulu reminds me of Detroit with palm trees. Waikiki Beach is just a 40ft deep strip of sand bordered on one side by the Pacific and the other by dozens of high-rise hotels. There are beautiful places in Hawaii, but those are not them.” – Panic_Azimuth

Plymouth Rock
“Plymouth Rock is about 1% as exciting as it sounds, it doesn’t sound very exciting.” – nicolewasnthere

The Alamo
“The Alamo for sure. I always thought that it was out in the desert, but it turns out it’s just in San Antonio…like 200 feet from a Motel 6.” –helloyesthisisblankThe White House
“The White House. It has got to be weird to basically live in a museum.” –eDgAR

Fisherman’s Wharf/ Pier 39

“It’s a mall built in the 1970s specifically to attract tourists. Its unwarranted popularity is made more infuriating by the extremely close proximity to some of the awesomest neighborhoods in the country, that loads of people never see.” –cralledode


Mount Rushmore

“I expected it to be grand and spectacular but it’s a lot smaller than I imagined. Still incredibly impressive for its detail, but a bit disappointing.” –Ctlewit



The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I have never felt the spirit of rock less than walking around in that place. It’s quite literally walking around in a library where there is no music and no fun allowed.” – B_F_C

[Image Credit: prayitno]

The top 8 tourist destinations of tomorrow

The rapidly changing landscape of today’s globalized economy means that countries are developing at breakneck pace. Yesterday’s war zones are turning into tomorrow’s tourist destinations at the blink of an eye, while today’s utopias (see: Dubai) are disintegrating just as fast.

Need more convincing? Check out Hans Rosling’s lecture on the rise of Asia over at TED.

Here at Gadling we have our own humble opinions on the next hotsposts for tourist traffic, not the from the socioeconomic perspective, but rather from that of a road hardened traveler. Take a look below:

Sarajevo
The memory of the Yugoslav Wars is too fresh for many of us to think of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist destination, but in the ten years since the conflict, the country and its capital city, Sarajevo have made enormous strides. Long gone are the days of ethnic conflict, strife and war crimes — 2009’s Sarajevo is a charming, cosmopolitan city surrounded by hills, cafés and culture.

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Iran
At first glance Iran doesn’t look very inviting, what with an authoritarian government intent on building nukes and quashing dissent. But look past the politics and you’ll find a hospitable country with excellent cuisine, rugged scenery, and a fascinating history. Add in a reliable bus system and you can have a relaxing vacation with people who love to meet foreigners. The only danger we faced in Iran was the very real possibility of being fed to death.

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Morocco
Although many Europeans have already discovered Morocco, the North African country is still not on the radar for most Americans– but it should be. Perhaps the world’s safest Muslim country, Morocco features labyrinthine markets, delicious cuisine, and access into an amazing culture few truly understand. Best of all, it’s less than an hour ferry ride from the southern tip of Spain.

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Cuba
Soon, Americans will have the privilege of visiting a country that has heartily resisted the capitalist mode of living. It’s true: traveling to Cuba is like going back in time, but it is so much more than that, too. It’s about embracing a nation that has struggled to find its own voice. But Cuba succeeded, and what lies just 90 miles from Florida is a vivacious country that deserves attention, care, and understanding.

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Colombia
Ten years ago, Colombia was branded as the kidnapping capital of the world. Despite decades of drug trafficking, paramilitary threats, and urban crime, this country with its canyons, seas, cloud and rain forests is quickly becoming one of the South America’s — and the world’s — most breathtaking and hospitable travel destinations.

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Ethiopia
Visit the only African nation never to be colonized. Ethiopia was practicing Christianity when Europe was still bowing down to pagan idols, and their rock-hewn churches and isolated monasteries are centers of learning and the arts. There are natural wonders too–from chilly mountains to blistering desert to African savanna, as well as some of the highest waterfalls in African and the source of the Blue Nile. The Ethiopians discovered coffee and make it better than anyone else in an elaborate half-hour ceremony. What more could you ask for?

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Panama
Now that they’re earning the big bucks from the canal, the tropical paradise of Panama makes Costa Rica look like Orlando with monkeys. Recent democratic elections saw a peaceful change of power and an ongoing real estate boom is drawing a funky mix of expats and nature lovers. Come for the beautiful virgin rain forest, stunning wildlife, a fascinating indigenous culture and outstanding seashore on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

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Iraq
The cradle of civilization, the home of the Garden of Eden, a unique cuisine and a rich culture.
. .and one of the most war-blighted places in the world. Could Iraq really be the next big tourist destination? A few hardy tour operators and their customers think so. How far will you go to have the adventure of a lifetime?

Top travel destination countries? Canada is number one and Nigeria is. . .?

When asked the to respond to the statement, “I would like to go to visit this country if money were no object,” Canada ranked number one in a recent global survey conducted by Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index.

Where was the U.S. in the mix of 50? Number 10. Harump!

Steve Stephens, the travel editor for the Columbus Dispatch offered up these tidbits last Sunday and provided the ranking for the other top five choices plus provided some reasons for the results.

From 2nd to 5th in that order:

  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Switzerland
  • France

What’s your guess for number 50? No, it’s not Nigeria.

Number 50 goes to Iran. The people who responded to the survey must not have read my post on how friendly people in Iran actually are or have seen the trailer for I RAN Iran or the video postcards film.

Nigeria is number 49 and lost a second to last place standing to Saudi Arabia.

Estonia was 47 and Lithuania was 46. Stephens begs to differ with these two small countries’ close to last place spots. Pointing out that both countries’ capitals have town sections listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, he vouches for their beauty and interest.

One theory for Estonia and Lithuania’s poor showing is that possibly people who took the survey knew nothing about them so skipped them altogether when checking off boxes for possible destinations.

I can vouch for Nigeria as a worthwhile destination if you can get parachuted in and airlifted out to avoid customs. Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful.

Why does Canada rank so highly? Its natural beauty for one thing.

If I could go anywhere in the world where money is no object, I’d probably pick Bolivia–or Peru. How about you?