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A late autumn afternoon on Lake Daylesford in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

A late autumn afternoon on Lake Daylesford in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

Booking.com today announced the recipients of its 12th annual Traveller Review Awards, with Daylesford, Victoria, featured in its top 10 ‘Most Welcoming Cities on Earth’ list of award winners. Booking.com’s Traveller Reviews Awards are based on more than 309 million verified customer reviews with 1.48 million accommodations, 449 rental car companies and 129 taxi providers receiving an award, including over 22,000 in Australia.

Most Welcoming Places on Earth

Identified based on the share of accommodation providers receiving a Traveller Review Award 2024*, this year’s lists of the Most Welcoming Places on Earth showcase a vast range of destinations from across the globe. From enchanting coastal towns to alpine retreats and even rustic desert gems, all of these locations are sure to ignite a sense of wanderlust for the year ahead.

2024’s Most Welcoming Cities on Earth*:

  1. Arraial d’Ajuda, Brazil
  2. Ermoupoli, Greece
  3. Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  4. Daylesford, Australia
  5. Grindelwald, Switzerland
  6. Moab, United States
  7. Uzès, France
  8. Mazatlán, Mexico
  9. Jaisalmer, India
  10. Fujikawaguchiko, Japan

Check out this Destination Guide to learn more about what these welcoming places have to offer. Booking.com has also revealed the ‘Most Welcoming Cities in Australia’. The awarded cities and towns are spread across the country, so no matter where Aussies are planning their next holiday, they’re sure to receive a warm welcome.

2024’s Most Welcoming Cities in Australia**:

  1. Daylesford, Victoria
  2. Montville, Queensland
  3. Maleny, Queensland
  4. Hepburn Springs, Victoria
  5. Ocean Grove, Victoria
  6. Healesville, Victoria
  7. Mount Tamborine, Queensland
  8. Margaret River, Western Australia
  9. Armidale, New South Wales
  10. Mudgee, New South Wales

“What an incredible result for Daylesford to be included in Booking.com’s Most Welcoming Cities on Earth. Daylesford, located in Hepburn Shire is a uniquely beautiful town, known for its striking landscapes no matter the season, award winning eateries and world-famous mineral springs and spa resorts. 

“With a distinct village feel, visitors are spoilt for choice with retail outlets, galleries and markets to explore. Daylesford also has an abundance of local festivals throughout the year that showcase its charm and many colours, including ChillOut, Australia’s largest regional LGBTIQA+ pride festival held annually in March.” commented Brian Hood, Hepburn Shire Council Mayor.

“Booking.com believes that the best traveller experiences shouldn’t be kept a secret and we want to take the time to recognise our Australian partners who deliver the very best experiences in the eyes of customers. Behind each score or certificate is a whole year filled with real travellers, real experiences and real reviews, which is a core differentiator for providers to attract their next customers.

“The Traveller Review Awards are our way of thanking and publicly acknowledging the top notch service our Australian partners provide to travellers and the critical role they play in our mission of making it easier for everyone to experience the world. This year, we’re proud to see Daylesford, Victoria featured on our global list as one of the Most Welcoming Cities on Earth.” commented Todd Lacey, Booking.com Regional Manager for Oceania.

Apartments and holiday homes lead the way for accommodation

Travellers continue to favourably review the home-away-from-home experience, withapartments dominating as the most-awarded accommodation type (710,687) for the seventh year running. For the second year in a row, holiday homes (213,824) have edged out hotels (179,357) for the number two spot, while guest houses (84,715) and B&Bs (71,514) round out the top five most-awarded accommodation types globally. In Australia, homes (holiday homes, apartments, aparthotels) received the most awards (18,859), representing a year on year increase by 20%.

Transportation providers start the trip with a smile

For the fifth year, Booking.com is recognising its ground transportation partners for their consistently great service and hospitality. Beyond the basics of just getting around, rental cars make it easier for travellers to explore off the beaten path and taxis frequently provide visitors with their first interactions with local people and culture. These welcoming first impressions often set the tone for the rest of the trip. This year, 449 car rental partners from 26 countries, including Australia are receiving a Traveller Review Award.