The friendliest city for visitors is Honolulu, according to more than 6,400 respondents in a newly released poll by Travelzoo.
Survey takers were asked to pick the cities, states and countries where they felt the most welcome, could easily ask for directions, and get dining recommendations. New York City came in second, followed by New Orleans.
Last year was a record-breaking year for tourism, and the numbers confirm the popularity of these destinations for travelers. In 2014, 8.3 million visitors came to the Aloha State, with total visitor expenditures estimated at $14.7 billion. On average, 205,044 visitors are in the state of Hawaii on any given day.
New York City, where tourism also hit a record high in 2014 with 56.4 million visitors streaming into the Big Apple, claimed the second spot in the poll.
Third place New Orleans has 9.52 million visitors and tourism spending of $6.81 billion in 2014. Fourth place Las Vegas also broke tourism records with 40 million visitors last year, thanks to renovated and rebranded resorts and direct flights from Canada and Mexico. Boston rounded out the top five, with a total of 16,250,000 international and domestic visitors in 2014.
Here are the top 10 friendly cities:
- New York
- New Orleans
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Charleston, S.C.
Travelzoo also ranked states for friendliness, with warm climes dominating the list. In the top spot was Florida, followed by California and Hawaii. New York and Maine were the only states from the Northeast to make the list.
- New York
- South Carolina
In Europe, Amsterdam, London, and Dublin were considered the friendliest cities to visit, with Italy and Ireland seen as the friendliest countries.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”