Pleasure Pier one of many island attractions

The $60 million Pleasure Pier over the Gulf of Mexico at sunrise.

ROBERT MIHOVIL

Galveston’s star is rising.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, announced this week the winners of its 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards for “Destinations on the Rise.”

The awards highlight spots globally that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveler feedback and traveler interest year-over-year.

Here’s how the island ranked in the U.S. category.

1. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii      

2. Anchorage, Alaska      

3. Destin, Fla.      

4. Bar Harbor, Maine      

5. Santa Fe, N.M.

6. Jackson, Wyo.     

7. Galveston, Texas      

8. Brooklyn, N.Y.      

9. Moab, Utah     

10. Gettysburg, Penn.

That isn’t shabby company. National publicity generated by the relatively new Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier has helped. But hard work by the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau to reach travel writers and to promote the island doesn't hurt either. 

Why do you think the island is a rising destination?

(2) comments

Rich Gray

Of course Galveston is a "rising destination". I am an outsider who visits the island. The Pleasure Pier was one of the best things to happen to the island in decades. Galveston.Com is the islands media center in my opinion. I can see daily what is happening on the island. I can watch the Lone Star Rally, Dickens on the Strand and Mardi Gras from streaming video. The Spot and Murdoch's make for easy prearranged meeting places when out of towners need to meet. Way back in 1914 that wonderful Galveston magnet, the sea wall was built. So keep up the good work Galveston. YOU ARE A RISING STAR!

Steve Fouga

Hasn't Galveston always been popular? Seems like it to me, having spent years fighting crowds as a visitor! Assuming it has, then what's different now? The Pier of course. But my impression is that the Island is a cleaner, brighter place post-Ike. Galvestonians were forced to start from scratch in some instances, and they rebuilt better than before. Crime is down, due both to an excellent police force and a reduction in public housing.

Could be the economy. It may not seem like it to residents, but G-Town is incredibly cheap compared to many resort destinations. This has always been true, but with the economy down, maybe more people have discovered us.

Maybe there are more and better events, or that people coming to the events are being encouraged in some way to provide testimonials to TripAdvisor. I bet that once people are here, they usually have a good time. Plenty for a tourist to do; plenty of good places to eat. More than there used to be.

It might be TripAdvisor's evaluation protocol. Maybe they've changed their surveys in a way that favors Galveston. I'm surprised at some of the destinations on the list. Destin, Kona, and Santa Fe have long been popular -- I wonder why they're "rising."

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