The draw of The World’s Borough is getting some attention from a top travel media company.
According to a press release sent out on Dec. 10, Queens was chosen as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a publisher of guidebooks and ebooks, along with digital travel products and apps.
Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the U.S. list for 2015 praised Queens as the global melting pot of New York City among its reasons for placing the Borough at the top of the list.
“The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district,” the site noted. “If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway. Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.”
Borough President Melinda Katz, who has made tourism one of her top priorities since taking office in January, said she was thrilled by the attention Queens is getting.
“Our neighborhoods are home to families that hail from over 120 countries and speak over 135 languages, so our diversity is a natural and tremendous asset to the international capital of the world,” Katz said in a statement. “You haven’t really seen New York City unless you have experienced Queens.”
Other Queens officials joined Katz in touting the news.
“I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, said. “It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors.”
Rob McKay, Queens Tourism Council director, said that people who worked in Queens’ hospitality and tourism industries deserved the honor.
“They are professional, competent, creative, hard-working, and eager to provide the best services possible,” McKay said. “This honor is also a testament to Margaret Markey, who had the vision to found the Queens Tourism Council years ago when she worked for the borough president. She’s now an assemblywoman, and she continues to tirelessly promote the borough.”
Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by New Orleans, the Colorado River, North Conway, N.H.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Greenville, S.C.; Oakland, Calif.; Duluth, Minn.; and Mount Shasta region of California.