AMERICAS - Thinking of looking behind the first, second and maybe even third tier cities in the United States for your next conference? Then, why not take note of the latest list of top small town destinations produced by the Destination Marketing Alliance International (DMAI) association’s Alliance Partner USA Today and road atlas publisher Rand McNally.
A search for unique small towns prompted the launch of the Best of the Road competition. It is open to destinations of 150,000 residents or less to be nominated in one of five categories.
In this, its second edition, the following destinations were awarded the following designations at DMAI's Annual Convention on 17 July:
- Best for Food: Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Friendliest: Murray, Kentucky
- Most Beautiful: Bardstown, Kentucky
- Most Fun: Delray Beach, Florida
- Most Patriotic: Gainesville, Texas
"One of the primary roles of a destination marketing organisation (DMO) is to assist its destination in developing its true local flare," said Michael D. Gehrisch, DMAI President and CEO.
"This competition has provided America's small communities the chance to shine the spotlight on what makes their destination truly unique,” he added.
More than 30,000 Americans nominated and voted for 700 towns and places.
Participating destinations turned to social media to rally votes from local residents, elected officials, social fans and visitors. The top six small towns from each of the five categories were then featured on a three-week ‘Washington to Washington’ cross-country road rally where five travelling teams went in search of America's ‘Best of’ towns.
In addition to being judged by the road rally teams, the small towns were judged by reviews posted at www.bestoftheroad.com, USA Today’s Travel site and were featured in the 2014 Rand McNally Road Atlas.
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