The Galveston Island Convention and Visitor's Bureau is not surprised by this top 10 rating. They say it only confirms what they've been seeing for the past two years: record number of visitors and spending.
It's a warm start to December on the Galveston Strand. The lights and tree are up, the smell of fudge is hard to resist.
"I'm the owner of this store and every year that we've had it, we've done better," Chocolate Factor's Demas Caravageli said.
Caravageli says in the past several years, he's seen tremendous growth in Galveston.
"Galveston has been on the rise in the last several years," said Ivette Wilhelm with the Galveston Island Convention And Visitor's Bureau.
According to TripAdvisor, Galveston Island snagged the seventh spot on the Traveler'S Choice Awards top 10 list for Travelers' Choice Awards for Destinations on the Rise in the U.S.
"It's amazing the turnaround that the island has had after Ike. Considering the island went under water, it's a testament to the people in the community really getting together and making it happen," Caravageli said.
The award comes on the heels of a bustling tourism trend and the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike.
Last year, the island welcomed nearly 6 million visitors, a record. Cruising also is up by more than 30 percent. The pleasure pier got a $125 million upgrade.
"It just speaks to its resilience and its vitality. We knew it would bounce back, but we dreamed that it would bounce back to this extent and this quickly," Wilhelm said.
And visitors have taken notice and spreading the word.
Here's the entire list:
10. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
9. Moab, Utah
8. Brooklyn, New York
7. Galveston, Texas
6. Jackson, Wyoming
5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
4. Bar Harbor, Maine
3. Destin, Florida
2. Anchorage, Alaska
1. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Only 45 cities were noted for their tourism worldwide. Internationally, Havana, Cuba received the top ranking.
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