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TripAdvisor’s users compile doubtful list of the world’s best attractions

Machu Piccu in Peru is the world's best attraction, according to Trip Advisor's survey, based on its users' choice. But while we like many of the 25 items on the list, we dare suggest a few additions, writes Erik Bergin.

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According to TripAdvisor’s survey,
Traveler’s Choice 2013, Machu Piccu is the world’s best tourist attraction. Having seen it, it’s hard to argue about the uniqueness of the once lost Inca city, sitting atop a steep cliff with clouds below. The second attraction on the list, Angkor Wat, carries much of the same qualities. Since I haven’t seen the next two attractions, Taj Mahal in India and Petra in Jordan, I’m leaving those out. The old Moorish castle Alhambra in southern Spain also defends its position as number 16 on the list.

Excerpt from Trip Advisor's list. Item #12: The Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Excerpt from Trip Advisor’s list. Item #12: The Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, on the 12th place comes the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. I’ve seen those, and sorry, but this is not a world-class attraction in my book. However ingenious in its construction, a man-made fountain outside a casino cannot constitute one of the world’s best attractions, given the enormous amount of other sights that are out there.

For example, what happened to the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast? And, if we keep it inside America, how can a casino fountain rank higher than the Grand Canyon, which isn’t on the list at all?


This list is simply not trustworthy. May I suggest a few additions, on top of those above:

A really unique and surreal attraction is the world’s largest ship-breaking beach in Bangladesh. You’ll se nothing like it anywhere. Read about it here. Also unique is the nature experience that the Swedish archipelago in the Baltic sea can provide (though I have to admit that, living in Stockholm, I’m not totally objective as I pick this attraction). Lastly, as Africa is curiously left out in Trip Advisor’s list, I’ll throw one in: The Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. If nothing else, this mighty fall at least ranks higher than any fountain.

PHOTOS 4 other great attractions

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It’s sad that a powerful travel institution as TripAdvisor, and not least its users, fail to compile such an important list as one covering the world’s best attractions. Perhaps, given that a Vegas casino made it onto the list, the result can be explained in part by the fact that the voters are likely to be rather biased towards the United States. That does explain the Bellagio, but not the lack of African attractions, or why many of America’s own great sights didn’t make it.

If you have any suggestions on this, please comment below.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.