Bristol is tourism’s ‘rising star’

27th November 2018

Categories: Press Releases

National Geographic Traveller magazine’s fourth annual reader awards, puts Bristol first in the international Rising Star category

Bristol was named tourism’s ‘Rising Star’ at the prestigious National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards this week. At a ceremony in London yesterday, the city beat Valencia and Tbilisi in a category that judged the destination best seen to be ‘making a name for themselves’ worldwide.

The National Geographic awards, in association with Flight Centre, is the ‘definitive word on the best places, experiences, hotels, operators, travel personalities, podcasts and more’.

The judges said of Bristol: ‘the Mild West’s hip hub city has long been bubbling under as a must-visit mini metropolis, but it’s finally surfaced to get the broad attention it deserves’.

Kathryn Davis, Head of Tourism for Destination Bristol, who collected the award in London last night said: ‘This is some achievement for the whole of the Bristol region, not just to be shortlisted alongside Tbilisi and Valencia but to go on and win the “Rising Star” destination is just incredible! We can now justifiably be considered as one of the best European destinations for travel and we look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors from across the world to Bristol in 2019 and beyond.’

The announcement was made within days of Kathryn’s own ‘outstanding contribution to tourism award’ at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards last week – in which Bristol’s Tourist Information Centre won a gold award in the Visitor Information Centre category. And these awards are icing on the cake for a city that has recently announced a record-breaking year for inbound tourism. The annual International Passenger Survey shows Bristol recording a 6% growth in international tourism, attracting an estimated 602,000 overseas visitors, breaking the 600,000 visits benchmark for the first time, and showing an increase of 60% since 2010.  This currently makes the city the 7th most popular destination in Britain for overseas staying visitors – a move up from last year’s 8th place.

The 2018 National Geographic Traveller awards saw readers vote in 17 categories, including One for the Kids (Walt Disney, Florida), Right Track/Rail (Eurostar, London to Amsterdam) and Screen and Sound (Blue Planet II – made in Bristol by the BBC’s Natural History unit). An award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel went to writer Bill Bryson. The winners will be featured in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK), on newsstands 6 December 2018. For the full list of winners, see:

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