Richmond has taken the top spot in a ranking of Canada’s 50 most-loved travel destinations.
The city claimed the number one spot with a “tourism sentiment score” of 28.30 and with air travel as its top draw, according to the Tourism Sentiment Index.
The aggregate score is based on online conversations and content – such as social networks, reviews, forums and blogs – that may impact a potential traveller’s idea about what a destination has to offer.
“To calculate the score, we collect all the conversations and content around a destination and, through natural language processing, filter to those that are driven by a destination’s tourism experiences or products,” the Tourism Sentiment Index website reads.
“The remaining data is classified as positive, neutral or negative as artificial intelligence deciphers sentiment from human expression.”
The rankings come from a study of Tourism Sentiment Index’s 2021 data, which includes more than 1.6 billion publicly available online conversations and content pieces about over 21,000 global destinations.
The Tourism Sentiment Index used that data to identify the 100 most-loved tourism destinations around the world, as well as the top 50 Canadian destinations.
On the Canadian ranking, Richmond was followed by Mississauga, Ont., which claimed second place on the list with its restaurants, dining and takeaway options making up the city’s top tourism driver.
Several other B.C. cities made the ranking, including Kelowna in fourth (top driver of wineries and vineyards), Sushwap in sixth (top driver of fishing), Tofino in eighth (its beaches being the top draw for tourists) and Vancouver, which ranked 23rd, also with a top draw of restaurants, dining and takeaway.