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World's best destination for 2019 from TripAdvisor

CNN logo CNN 3/26/2019 By Bianca Britton, CNN
a close up of a person holding a pair of sunglasses: A tourist has the Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben reflected in her mirror lenses as the sun shines in central London on June 16, 2017.
Britain and the European Union will start Brexit negotiations on Monday, while Prime Minister Theresa May nears a deal to prop up her minority government following her election fiasco. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images) © TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images A tourist has the Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben reflected in her mirror lenses as the sun shines in central London on June 16, 2017. Britain and the European Union will start Brexit negotiations on Monday, while Prime Minister Theresa May nears a deal to prop up her minority government following her election fiasco. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Call it a late wedding present. Last year's royal knot-tying between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has delivered a much-needed boost to Brexit-addled London.

The city has been named the best destination in the world in TripAdvisor's annual Traveler's Choice Awards, largely thanks to 2018's regal celebrations.

London knocked protest-hit Paris off the top travel slot in the ranking determined by reviews and ratings over the past 12 months for hotels, restaurants and experiences.

TripAdvisor says the outcome is down to the spotlight of the royal wedding.

"The global fascination with Harry and Meghan clearly has a powerful effect as this is the first time since 2016 that London has topped the world rankings," TripAdvisor spokeswoman Hayley Coleman said in a statement.

"With the couple's new Royal baby due imminently, London may continue to reap the rewards of the Harry and Meghan effect into 2020," she added.

There was also a "significant rise" in bookings for royal-focused experiences, TripAdvisor revealed, particularly for tours to see the Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Such attractions saw a year-on-year increase of between 94% and 231%, the website said.

Laura Citron, CEO of Visit London -- the capital's official visitor guide -- said the ranking were a "true validation of the incredible hard work of our tourism industry, ensuring our visitors have exceptional experiences every single day of the year."

Paris took second place in TripAdvisor's best-rated travel destinations, with Rome coming in third, followed by Crete, Bali and Phuket.

Meanwhile, 2019 was the first year New York -- which has been a long-time favorite with travelers -- slipped out of TripAdvisor's top 10 to rank as the 13th best-rated destination in the world.

Desiree Fish, TripAdvisor's Vice President of Global Communications, said the Travelers' Choice Awards "recognize major cities and islands that continue to deliver an outstanding experience and are beloved by our global community of travelers."

Here are the top 25 destinations in the world, according to the 2019 Travelers Choice Awards:

1. London, United Kingdom

2. Paris, France

3. Rome, Italy

4. Crete, Greece

5. Bali, Indonesia

6. Phuket, Thailand

7. Barcelona, Spain

8. Istanbul, Turkey

9. Marrakech, Morocco

10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

11. Prague, Czech Republic

12. Siem Reap, Cambodia

13. New York City, New York

14. Jamaica

15. Hanoi, Vietnam

16. Tokyo, Japan

17. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

18. Lisbon, Portugal

19. Kathmandu, Nepal

20. Jaipur, India

21. Hurghada, Egypt

22. Hong Kong, China

23. Cusco, Peru

24. Sydney, Australia

25. Tel Aviv, Israel


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