There’s a lot to be said for readers’ surveys about travel even if those surveys aren’t specifically about the meetings and events industry. In one of its latest reports, Conde Nast Traveler has identified its top 10 friendliest cities. We’re proud to say that some of our favorite meeting cities made the cut.
The survey included input from 128,000 readers, who were asked to rate cities based on criteria such as ability to get around and interaction with locals.
Coming in at No. 1 was Charleston, South Carolina, which was just featured in the July issue of Smart Meetings magazine as part of our feature story on Emerging Meeting Cities. One of the things that our story mentioned is that Charleston has historically been considered welcoming, dating to the 1669 Carolina Colony charter that granted “liberty of conscience.”
The No. 2 friendliest city was Park City, Utah, a four-season town outside Salt Lake City. Smart Meetings has had this mountain enclave on its radar for a while. In fact, our January issue featured the last media interview with Olympic gold medalist Stein Ericksen before he passed away on Dec. 27. The former ski instructor for Deer Valley Resort was a key influencer in modern-day, luxury ski resorts.
No. 3 Savannah, Georgia, was also included in our Emerging Meeting Cities article in July. To learn about one of the biggest hospitality/entertainment projects in the South, read our Q&A with Richard Kessler, who is overseeing a $250 project on Savannah’s historic riverfront.
While seven of the top 10 friendliest cities are considered medium or small markets, No. 4 Nashville, No. 5 Austin, Texas, and No. 9 New Orleans made the cut to represent the major convention cities. Music and party scenes no doubt helped push these cities into the Top 10. And regarding meetings, all have stellar convention cities to match their friendly dispositions.
Top 10 Friendliest Cities
Charleston, South Carolina
Santa Fe, New Mexico