Global Economy
Global travel city survey puts Tokyo on top, Beijing among laggards
By Finfacts Team
May 22, 2014 - 2:50 PM

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Tokyo, Japan was ranked No. 1 for best overall experience, according to the TripAdvisor Cities Survey. (A TripAdvisor traveler photo)

TripAdvisor, the travel review website, this week announced the results of its second annual Cities Survey, revealing how travelers view key tourist cities around the world. The results were compiled based on more than 54,000 responses from those who have recently written TripAdvisor reviews for featured cities around the world.

Ranking first for city with the best overall experience was Tokyo. The city also claimed top spots for helpfulness of locals, taxi service, local public transportation, and cleanliness of streets. Tokyo received high marks across the board, as it ranked among the top 10 in 13 of 16 categories in the survey. In contrast, Beijing was at the bottom of the rankings.

New York City, the only U.S. city on the list of world destinations evaluated in the survey, was top of the heap for best restaurants and nightlife. It also came in second for best overall experience, shopping and attractions/things to do. In terms of value for the money, the Big Apple ranked #30, and also ranked in the lower third for cleanliness of streets. Travelers think the Big Apple’s cab drivers could flash some more smiles—it ranked #30 for friendliness of taxis.

Other high ranking cities were Singapore, which was number one for comfort traveling alone, and second for taxi service, cleanliness of streets, ease of getting around and family-friendliness; Rome, which topped the list of attractions/things to do and culture; and Dubai, first for shopping and hotels.

“Tokyo has received high marks from TripAdvisor travelers, who praise the city for its hospitality, cleanliness and outstanding public transit system,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “New York City was also well decorated in the TripAdvisor Cities Survey, recognized by travelers for its world class restaurants and nightlife.”

The survey was sent to those who have written a review on either a hotel, restaurant or attraction in the featured cities during 2013. To be included in the results, a city was required to have a minimum of 300 completed responses, with the ranking based on average scores for each question.

All analyses was conducted by Brainbox Research. The selection of featured cities is based on the key cities from countries that receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO 2012).

Of the 37 cities surveyed, Mumbai ranked lowest in the best overall experience category with 7.13, trailing the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana score of 7.32 and Moscow’s 7.55.

The Wall Street Journal reports that IESE Business School at the University of Navarra last month also revealed that Tokyo is the “smartest” city in the world followed by London and New York, according to a study of 50 indicators including governance, technology, public management and urban planning.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the top performers by category:

Overall Top Performers:

Category First Place Second place Third place
Helpful locals Tokyo Cape Town Lisbon
Friendliest taxi drivers Dubrovnik Tokyo Singapore
Best taxi services Tokyo Singapore Dublin
Cleanest streets Tokyo Singapore Berlin
Ease of getting around Vienna Singapore Berlin
Best public transport Tokyo Vienna Berlin
Best value for money Budapest Lisbon Hanoi
Comfort traveling alone Singapore Tokyo Vienna
Best for shopping Dubai New York City London
Best for hotels Dubai Cancun Bangkok
Best for restaurants New York City Cape Town Tokyo
Best for attractions Rome New York City Paris
Family-friendliness Stockholm Singapore Copenhagen
Best for culture Rome Vienna Paris
Best for nightlife New York City London Tokyo
Best overall experience Tokyo New York City Barcelona

Overall Low Rankers:

Category Last place Second last Third last
Helpful locals Moscow Beijing Marrakech
Friendliest taxi drivers Moscow Beijing Brussels
Best taxi services Moscow Beijing Kuala Lumpur
Cleanest streets Mumbai Marrakech Bangkok
Ease of getting around Mumbai Punta Cana Marrakech
Best public transport Marrakech Hanoi Sharm el Sheikh
Best value for money Moscow Rio de Janeiro Copenhagen
Comfort traveling alone Punta Cana Sharm el Sheikh Marrakech
Best for shopping Punta Cana Moscow Rio de Janeiro
Best for hotels Moscow Rio de Janeiro Brussels
Best for restaurants Punta Cana Moscow Marrakech
Best for attractions Punta Cana Sharm el Sheikh Mumbai
Family-friendliness Marrakech Moscow Mumbai
Best for culture Sharm el Sheikh Punta Cana Dubai
Best for nightlife Marrakech Punta Cana Hanoi
Best overall experience Mumbai Punta Cana Moscow

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