NEW YORK — American travelers have spoken, and crowned Texas Hill Country one of the hottest new tourism spots in 2013. While New York City continued to top the travel charts in 2013, many of the U.S.’s charming small cities and regions emerged with record interest. Fodor’s released their first list of the year’s most popular travel destinations, which they compile according to visitors on their website. They compiled the top 50 worldwide travel locales and the top 50 destinations that have grown most in popularity based on destination-guide page views from searches by American visitors. Texas Hill Country, situated between Austin and San Antonio and home to a burgeoning wine scene, saw the most dramatic growth in 2013, with a 258% increase in page views according to Fodors.com website statistics.
The list reveals that warm-weather destinations are popular among Americans – 11 of the top 25 most visited destinations were beach retreats like Hawaii, islands in the Caribbean and the usual Mexican hotspots. “Europe is back in a big way, with the strongest numbers we’ve seen in years, which is really exciting. A number of great events and cultural happenings like Ireland’s The Gathering as well as terrific travel values in countries like Spain have helped put a spotlight on travel to the continent,” said Bowen. “At the same time, we saw a shift to new regions in the United States, like Texas Hill Country and the Oregon Coast, which indicates the Fodor’s audience is always looking to discover new places and experiences, something the brand has long embodied.” Fodor’s editors said they attribute the interest to a “burgeoning wine scene,” but there are plenty of other events the Austin-San Antonio area hosted in 2013 that attracted a very diverse array of visitors.