This is the result of one of those Conde Nast Traveler surveys, which asks its readers to rate hotels, resorts, airlines , cruise ships and even cities. There is even a category for Friendliest and Unfriendliest City, and Wilmington made the Unfriendliest City list, ranked at 8
Wilmington, the state’s largest city, didn’t appeal to our survey takers as much as Delaware’s better known beach areas. One reader says he “would rather avoid” the city that is only “necessary to visit on business.” Other readers say Wilmington is a place with “not much charm” that “needs work.”
What do you think about this? The NJ reports on this and got plenty of reaction from locals, mainly of the cheerleading variety.
I do a fair amount of business travel. This magazine is targeted to people doing fairly high-end travel, and if I think about this from the perspective of folks coming here to visit for business, I can sort of see this. If you are lodged at the Sheraton, the Courtyard, the Doubletree or the Hotel DuPont and want to take in the local atmosphere, it is pretty clear when you bounce out of your hotel at 6PM that the local atmosphere is a work in progress. Travelers in the Conde Nast readership are going to be accustomed to places that are ready for tourist business and Wilmington is getting there slowly, but it is a work in progress.
I’m not even certain as to how well we map out the “charms” that folks can visit. I do know that one of the reasons I’m on Facebook is to have access to what is going on in the City, since the paper doesn’t adequately capture that. Go to a place like Kansas City or Omaha and you can’t escape knowing about how to be entertained. So I’d buy that we have a road to travel here, but I’ve been in towns for business that really do lack in charm. Like Oak Ridge, TN. Or Buffalo, NY. If you live here, though, it is really hard to categorize this place as being especially unfriendly. People smile at each other, they talk, everyone went to school with each other, people seem to vacation at the beach together and there’s always a round of introductions.
What do you think?
ADDING 8.3.2013: These are screen shots of the business part of this survey. You start telling the survey what countries you’ve been in over the past year, then what states/areas you’ve been in, then the cities (a selection provided by the survey; Delaware choices are Wilmington, Dover, Rehoboth Beach), then you rate the categories shown in the screen capture below.
Right? This is the tell for their audience here. After this, they broaden out the survey, asking you to rate hotel brands, islands you’ve visited, mountain areas you’ve visited, cruises, airlines, then there is a final screen when you get to provide comments on any of your previous input.
That’s it. That’s how they get their unfriendly rankings.