Mudgee has been ranked among the top 10 emerging destinations in the world according to travel website, Tripadvisor.
The unexpected adulation comes after Tripadvisor posted the list on Thursday morning, January 28. The list contains just two Australian locations, with Shoalhaven, NSW coming in at number eight.
So how does a location make the list? A Tripadvisor spokesperson said it's largely based on the locations that Tripadvisor users are 'saving' on their accounts as places they plan to travel to.
"Emerging Destinations showcase the spots travellers are most "saving" on Tripadvisor throughout the world," they said.
"Different from the other categories, which highlight where travellers have already visited, the Emerging list identifies where they want to visit.
"These are the destinations travellers were dreaming of while they were stuck at home all year - and where they may go next."
Tripadvisor said the practice of window shopping for holidays has increased during the pandemic, leading to Mudgee's position among the most 'wanted' destinations.
We're getting these opportunities to invite people to our region that [might be] overseas or Interstate.CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism (MRT) Cara George
"Emerging Destinations honour the locations that showed the greatest year-over-year increase in saves for accommodations, restaurants and things to do on Tripadvisor," the spokesperson said.
"Saves is a great indicator of what travellers are interested in doing in the future, as opposed to what they have done or are booking now."
CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism (MRT) Cara George said the ranking is a reflection on the way the world has changed.
"We're getting these opportunities to invite people to our region that [might be] overseas or Interstate, and what we're finding is that they're loving what they see. So we're getting a lot of repeat visitation already," she said.
According to Cara the Mudgee region saw a 47 per cent in overnight visitations in the first financial quarter and had the 'strongest low season ever'.
"It was great to see such a great recovery and rebound," Cara said.
"I think over the last five years, we've put a lot of work as an industry into developing a very strong and mature market destination to the world.
"So our ambition has been to be the most loved destination in Australia. And it's a bold ambition, but it's one that we've been embracing as a industry as a community, as business people."
The Top 10:
- Panama City Beach, Florida
- Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil
- Holbox Island
- St Ives, United Kingdom
- Mazatlan, Mexico
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Shoalhaven, Australia
- Wroclaw, Poland
- Mudgee, Australia
Cara also said that MRT will continue the momentum throughout 2021 with their 'Feel the Love' campaign.
"It was always anticipated to be a three year campaign. And while it was just starting to get momentum COVID hit, so we pulled it back to be a virtual campaign to keep the region top of mind for travelers on the other side of the restrictions. That proved very successful," she said.
"We're going to continue to execute that. And we will look at the environment and learn from what occurred last year in in order to deliver what we need for the region."
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