WATCH: Good news for Victoria’s tourism industry today. The Garden City is now ranked second in a list to top 20 small cities outside the U.S. Calvin To has more.
Victoria is one of the top 20 best small cities in the world, according to the Condé Nast Traveler.
As part of the magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, more than 300,000 people cast their votes for their favourite small cities in the world outside the United States.
Victoria landed at number two on the list behind San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The only other Canadian city to make the list was Quebec City, which came in at number eight. Florence and Burges Belgium got the third and fourth spot respectively.
?This result is straight from readers of one of the world?s leading travel magazines,? Paul Nursey, chief executive of Tourism Victoria, said in a statement.
?This is proof positive that Greater Victoria?s transformation from a quaint and charming regional destination to a world-leading experiential destination is complete.?
Last year, Victoria was ranked number 7 on the list of best cities in the world outside of the U.S. in the same readers’ survey.
Tourism Victoria said there has been “extensive coverage” of Victoria in publications like the New York Times, the New Zealand Herald, the Rolling Stone, the L.A. Times and Mexico City’s El Universal. The articles have showcased the region’s concert and music scene to the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
This year, Smart Meetings magazine recommended Victoria as one of the top 10 emerging destinations for hosting meetings and conferences and this summer, 5,770 Canadian travel agents chose Victoria as one of the top five destinations in the country.
Tourism Victoria also noted that its marketing strategy is providing successful and the region is being recognized as a “global leader in experiential tourism.”
Ian Wish, the Hotel Grand Pacific director of sales and marketing, said improvements to the hospitality industry have played a big role in attracting tourists.
“Once you get here, it’s an amazing city and people experience that and feel like they’ve discovered something that many others maybe haven’t,” Wish said.
At the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, which was ranked the fourth best hotel in Canada by Condé Nast readers, most of their guests are Canadians, followed by Americans then people from overseas.
“We’re seeing more interest in going hiking,”Bill Lewis, Magnolia Hotel & Spa general manager said. “And we’re seeing more interest in the local beer and wine scenes and the craft brewery scene. And so there’s been a lot more travellers really experiencing the local Victoria in the last few years.”
Yanny and Henk Riadyk from Holland were visiting Victoria on Tuesday and said it is one of their favourite cities.
“You can look to the whales when you go. You can drive here around. The people are good,” Henk said.
The winning cities will be listed in Condé Nast Traveler’s November issue.
Condé Nast Traveler ? Readers? Choice Awards
Top Small Cities Outside the U.S.
1 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2 Victoria, B.C., Canada
3 Florence, Italy
4 Bruges, Belgium
5 Lucerne, Switzerland
6 Salzburg, Austria
7 Nuremberg, Germany
8 Quebec City, PQ, Canada
9 Cologne, Germany
10 Lisbon, Portugal
11 Copenhagen, Denmark
12 Edinburgh, Scotland
13 Bergen, Norway
14 Stockholm, Sweden
15 Seville, Spain
16 Prague, Czech Republic
17 Venice, Italy
18 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
19 Dublin, Ireland
20 Jerusalem, Israel