Niagara Falls 'best-loved' landmark
Niagara Falls has been named the “best-loved” landmark in the world, beating out other world-famous sites such as the Taj Mahal and Grand Canyon, in a recent study by a luggage storage network.
A study from Bounce, which is a service that helps people find and book places to store their baggage, revealed the top “best-loved” landmarks across the globe — and the Honeymoon Capital topped the list, coming in with a score of 9.22 out of 10.
Bounce said it analyzed the world’s landmarks using a variety of factors, including annual visitor numbers, average entry price, Tripadvisor ratings, Instagram posts, and annual Google search volume.
According to the report, Niagara Falls welcomes just under 12 million visitors a year and has a perfect 5/5 rating on Tripadvisor. The picturesque landmark also has more than three-million Instagram posts, as well as more than 18-million searches on Google.
The report states Niagara Falls offers some of the most “breathtaking” views of natural waterfalls in the world and serves as a “perfect” romantic getaway or family vacation.
Second on the list is Taj Mahal in India, with a score of 7.67/10. The Grand Canyon in United States came in third, with a score of 7.47/10. Rounding out the top five are Golden Gate Bridge, and Statue of Liberty, both in the United States.
Janice Thomson, president of Niagara Falls Tourism, said such studies “serve to remind us that we are living in a very, very treasured spot.”
“It’s always wonderful to see the destination recognized. We’ve (tourism officials) always said it’s such a beautiful, iconic image that everyone knows when they look at it, they know, right away, oh, it’s Niagara Falls,” she said.
“And we know it’s on so many people’s lists of places they have to see in their lifetime. When you reflect back in history and you look at all the different reactions of people that have been recorded in different ways on their initial reaction when they see the falls, it’s always that feeling of wonder and amazement.”
Thomson said in current advertising, tourism officials talk about how “everyone experiences the falls in a different way.”
“Every time each of us interacts in any way with the falls, whether it’s from a distance or whether it’s up close, we have a different experience,” she said.
“It is one of those timeless, changing experiences, but the destination, as a whole, we always say is reliable. You know when you come here, you’re going to have a great experience, you’ll build family memories.”
David Adames, chief executive officer of Niagara Parks, said the results of the study “speak to the global brand that is Niagara Falls.”
He shared two stories from this past week where he had an opportunity to see how people react to experiencing the falls “through our visitors’ eyes.”
Adames said he was talking to two couples — one from St. Louis, Mo., and the other travelling with them from San Jose, Calif.
He said the two men had served together in the U.S. air force and are now retired.
“The Missouri couple had been to Niagara Falls a number of times, but the San Jose couple hadn’t, and it was on their bucket list to come,” said Adames.
“They were mesmerized — they couldn’t get enough of seeing it. That was a special moment.”
Adames said he also spoke with a man travelling from Belgium who had just finished a video call with his son back home from the brink of the falls.
“The excitement in his face, talking about having that special moment with his son who couldn’t travel with him, but to connect on this video call and be there, in the moment, at the falls, again speaks to that global brand, the global connection that the falls has.”