Tour Operators Name Italy 'World's Best' Destination

Italy tops a new list of "World's Best" destinations, compiled by an association of U.S.-based tour operators.

Members of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) ranked destinations in a variety of categories. Italy took the top spot for four: architecture, walking, romance and culinary/wine experience. Italy was also on the heels of France as best for art and culture.

London won the entertainment category, with New York and Rio de Janeiro following in a second place tie.

New York was still able to claim one top honor, as the best shopping destination, narrowly beating out Hong Kong and Italy. One-third of respondents cited New York as a top-shopping destination.

"World's Best" List Winners:

Adventure: Costa Rica, New Zealand
Architecture: Italy, Spain
Art & Culture: France, Italy
Entertainment: London, New York, Rio de Janiero
History: Egypt, United Kingdom, Israel
Romantic: Italy, France
Shopping: New York City, Hong Kong, Italy
Walking: Italy, US Western National Parks, Prague
Wine, Dining, & Culinary: Italy, France, Spain, Napa Valley
Egypt, which the State Department just ordered all non-essential U.S. personnel to exit due to mounting political protests, took the history category. Other top countries for history included the United Kingdom and Israel.

Costa Rica was named the best spot for adventure, just edging out New Zealand.

In a statement, the USTOA says the results are "based on informal rankings by more than 50 of the top companies arranging vacation experiences, tours, and packages worldwide."

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