As travel restrictions eased in 2021 and people began to venture out once more, a shift in Americans’ tourism habits became evident. Influenced by popular television and streaming series like “The White Lotus” and “Emily in Paris,” travelers started taking inspiration from pop culture when choosing their destinations.
Others turned their vacations into culinary explorations. Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel, noted that 2023’s trending destinations featured both perennial favorites like Paris and the Florida Keys, along with lesser-known spots like Woodstock, Vermont, and Montenegro. The post-pandemic reopening of borders also led to more bookings for destinations in Asia and Australia. The second quarter of 2023 saw bookings through the American Express Travel network returning to pre-COVID levels.
With these evolving travel trends, there has been a growing interest in unique and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Travelers are not only revisiting their favorite cities but also exploring new and unconventional locations worldwide.
However, amidst these positive changes in the travel industry, one blog, Stasher, decided to draw attention to tourist sites that might be best avoided. Using an unscientific internet-based formula that considered factors such as Google reviews, TikTok engagement, proximity to airports, the host country’s Global Peace Index (GPI), and Booking.com’s average user rating for local accommodations, Stasher ranked tourist attractions worldwide.
Surprisingly, the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles secured the unfortunate title of the world’s worst-rated tourist attraction. This wasn’t the first time, in 2019, Stasher’s tourist attractions study also identified it as such, leading to discussions even on late-night talk shows.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame received the lowest score in the study, a mere 3.42 out of 10. The poor Global Peace Index of the USA (3.85) dragged down the overall rating, with tourists frequently describing their experiences as “dirty” and “unsafe.”
Taking the second spot on this list was The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. It scored poorly across various criteria, including a higher risk tourist safety score of 2.8/5 and an above-average travel distance to the airport (45.7km). Surprisingly, the Taj Mahal in India, which ranked third, presented an even further distance from an international airport, with tourists facing a travel distance of 219km.
Notably, there was another U.S. tourist destination among the top four worst-rated sites according to Stasher’s formula: Busch Gardens in Florida.
On the brighter side, the study also recognized the world’s best tourist attractions based on these data, with the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest topping the list.
Ultimately, Stasher’s research aims to assist travelers in planning their next adventures and encourage them to consider destinations they may not have previously explored. While the Hollywood Walk of Fame might hold a unique place in pop culture, this study suggests that there are many other remarkable places worldwide deserving of tourists’ attention.
Image rights to The Hollywood Reporter