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TripAdvisor Reveals Most Visited Spots by Travelers vs. Locals in Top Tourism Destinations Around the World

April 28, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

TripAdvisor today launched its first-ever mobile Check-Index revealing travelers’ and locals’ most frequented hotels, restaurants and attractions in major world tourism destinations. The study was based TripAdvisor’s massive trove of mobile location data.

“Our mobile Check-Index shows the points of interest where consumers are voting with their feet and actually spending their time,” said Jeff Chow, vice president of product, consumer experience, TripAdvisor. “It’s interesting to see how in some cities travelers and locals are drawn to the same things to do or places to eat, while in others you see distinct differences in their preferences.”

To glean these insights, TripAdvisor studied check-ins via smartphone GPS and motion sensors to predict when and where anonymous users are visiting a spot or if they are just passing by.

Analysis of foot traffic in the following cities reveals the following interesting trends:

  • Travelers and locals both tend to have good taste, generally choosing highly rated points of interest
  • Many travelers and locals are drawn to the same tasty eateries, with crossover is several cities studied
  • The most frequented chain restaurants in these select cities are Starbucks, McDonald’s and Hard Rock Café
  • Travelers are drawn to major tourist attractions, whereas locals often find alternative things to do

Points of Interest with the Greatest Number of Visits: Travelers vs. Locals




New York City


1.  Madison Square Garden 

2.  The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum 

3.  Times Square

1.  Madison Square Garden 

2.  Bryant Park 

3.  One World Observatory – World Trade Center

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Katz’s Deli

2.  Balthazar

3.  Ellen’s Stardust Diner

1.  Pershing Square

2.  The Dead Rabbit

3.  Balthazar

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Hard Rock Café

2.  Shake Shack (Columbus Ave)

3.  Starbucks (Madison Ave)

1.  Shake Shack (East 86th St)

2.  Starbucks (Columbus Ave)

3.  Starbucks (Astor Pl)


1.  New York Hilton Midtown

2.  Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

3.  New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel

Not Applicable



1.  The Magnificent Mile

2.  The Art Institute of Chicago

3.  Navy Pier

1.  The Magnificent Mile

2.  United Center

3.  East Bank Club

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Quartino

2.  Girl & The Goat

3.  Chicago Cut Steakhouse

1.  Chicago French Market

2.  Chicago Cut Steakhouse

3.  Quartino

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Portillo’s

2.  Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

3.  Giordano’s (North Rush St)

1.  Portillo’s

2.  Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

3.  Starbucks (S Drexel Ave)


1.  Hyatt Regency Chicago

2.  The Palmer House Hilton

3.  Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

Not Applicable

San Francisco


1.  Pier 39

2.  Union Square

3.  Fisherman’s Wharf

1.  Ferry Building Marketplace

2.  Union Square

3.  Market Street

Restaurants: Independent

1.  The Slanted Door

2.  Scoma’s

3.  Cliff House

1.  Town Hall

2.  Yank Sing (Stevenson St.)

3.  Foreign Cinema

Restaurants: Chain

1.  In-N-Out Burger

2.  Super Duper Burgers (Downtown)

3.  Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market

1.  The Grove – Yerba Buena

2.  Super Duper Burgers (Downtown)

3.  Roam Artisan Burgers (Union St.)


1.  Hilton San Francisco Union Square

2.  San Francisco Marriott Marquis

3.  InterContinental San Francisco

Not Applicable

Los Angeles


1.  Universal Studios Hollywood

2.  Hollywood Walk of Fame

3.  The Original Farmer’s Market

1.  Staples Center

2.  The Original Farmers Market

3.  The Grove

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Gjelina

2.  Perch

3.  Rose Cafe

1.  Rose Cafe

2.  Perch

3.  Bottega Louie

Restaurants: Chain

1.  The Ivy

2.  BCD Tofu House

3.  In-N-Out Burger

1.  BCD Tofu House

2.  IHOP

3.  Urban Plates


1.  The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

2.  JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live

3.  Hilton Los Angeles Airport

Not Applicable



1.  Tower of London

2.  Borough Market

3.  British Museum

1.  Borough Market

2.  St Paul’s Cathedral

3.  Sky Garden

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Duck & Waffle

2.  Novikov Restaurant & Bar

3.  The Wolseley

1.  The Folly Bar

2.  Madison

3.  Novikov Restaurant & Bar

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Dishroom Covent Garden 

2.  Five Guys

3.  Yauatcha

1.  Dishroom Covent Garden

2.  Big Easy

3.  Yauatcha


1.  Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

2.  Hilton London Metropole

3.  Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel

Not Applicable



1.  Musée du Louvre

2.  Eiffel Tower

3.  Galeries Lafaytte

1.  Les Quatres Temps

2.  Les Halles

3.  Printemps

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Lafayette Gourmet

2.  L’Avenue

3.  Cafe Les Deux Magots

1.  Lafayette Gourmet

2.  Le Chalet 16

3.  Klay Saint Sauveur

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Laduree

2.  McDonald’s

3.  Angelina Paris

1.  Laduree

2.  Starbucks

3.  Relais de l’Entrecote


1.  Le Meridien Etoile

2.  Pullman Paris Montparnasse

3.  Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel

Not Applicable



1.  Colosseum

2.  Trevi Fountain

3.  Spanish Steps

1.  Stadio Olimpico

2.  Spanish Steps

3.  Villa Borghese

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Angelino “ai Fori” dal 1947

2.  Grazia & Graziella

3.  Momart Café’

1.  Momart Café’

2.  Dolce

3.  Il Fungo – Piano Zero e Quattordicesimo Piano

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Stagioni, l’Osteria di Eataly

2.  McDonald’s

3.  Hard Rock Cafe Rome

1.  Stagioni, l’Osteria di Eataly

2.  Caffe Tomeucci

3.  Mamma Pizza


1.  Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

2.  NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto

3.  The Westin Excelsior, Rome

Not Applicable



1.  Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

2.  Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

3.  Park Guell

1.  La Manquista

2.  L’illa Diagonal

3.  Casa Batllo

Restaurants: Independent

1.  El Nacional Barcelona

2.  Cervecería Catalana

3.  La Fonda del Port Olimpic

1.  Cervecería Catalana

2.  El Nacional Barcelona

3.  Fabrica Moritz Barcelona

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Brunch & Cake

2.  Tapas 24

3.  Bilbao Berria

1.  Bacoa – Universitat

2.  Sopa

3.  Nostrum


1.  Barcelo Sants

2.  W Barcelona

3.  Hotel Arts Barcelona

Not Applicable



1.  Alexanderplatz

2.  Mauermuseum 

3.  Berlin TV Tower

1.  Alexanderplatz

2.  Mauermuseum

3.  Berlin TV Tower

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Monsieur Vuong

2.  Burgermeister 

3.  KaffeeMitte

1.  Monsieur Vuong

2.  Martkhalle Neun Berlin Kreuzberg

3.  SETs

Restaurants: Chain

1.  KaDeWe Feinschmeckerbars

2.  Hofbräu München Berlin

3.  Hard Rock Café Berlin 

1.  KaDeWe Feinschmeckerbars

2.  IKEA Restaurant

3.  Spreegold


1.  InterContinental Berlin

2.  Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz

3.  Hilton Berlin

Not Applicable



1.  Sydney Opera House

2.  Darling Harbour

3.  Bondi Beach

1.  Olympic Stadium

2.  Sydney Opera House

3.  The Star

Restaurants: Independent

1.  The Grounds of Alexandria

2.  The Glenmore

3.  The Beresford

1.  The Grounds of Alexandria

2.  The Beresford

3.  The Sheaf

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Hard Rock Cafe

2.  Pancakes on the Rocks

3.  Ribs and Rumps

1.  Salt Meats Cheese

2.  McDonald’s

3.  Hard Rock Cafe


1.  Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

2.  The Westin Sydney

3.  InterContinental Sydney

Not Applicable



1.  Khao San Road

2.  Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

3.  Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

1.  Siriraj Medical Museum

2.  Lumpini Park

3.  Ganesha Shrine

Restaurants: Independent

1.  Thip Samai

2.  Go Ang – Pratunam Chicken Rice Restaurant

3. T&K Seafood

1.  Roast

2.  Papaya

3.  Thip Samai

Restaurants: Chain

1.  Secret Recipe Cafe

2.  Hard Rock Café Bangkok

3.  Baan Khanita by the River

1.  After You Dessert Café – Intersect Rama 3

2.  Secret Recipe Cafe

3.  MK Restaurant


1.  Pathumwan Princess Hotel

2.  Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

3.  Amari Watergate Bangkok 

Not Applicable

Methodology: TripAdvisor studied anonymized, aggregated mobile data to reveal the most frequented points of interest in select major tourism destinations. Points of interest highlighted were required to have a minimum of 100 check-ins within the month of March 2017. Grocery stores, transportation facilities, convention centers and shopping malls were excluded from this edition of the TripAdvisor Check-Index. Local check-ins were based on consumers originating within a geo less than 50 km from a respective destination, while traveler check-ins were defined by users originating outside of this perimeter.

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