Penticton rated as traveller's paradise

Penticton's 'beautiful beaches' are just one of the reasons the city was ranked as one of the top travel destinations for 2012.
— image credit: Western News file photo

The buzz on social media this week was about Penticton, as the city was chosen as the place to be for vacation travellers.

Penticton was named one of the Top 10 travel destinations for 2012 according to Facebook. An article appeared on the Huffington Post website on Wednesday written by the CEO of — a website that helps plan vacations combining advice, recommendations, photos and more — listed Penticton as one of the ultimate travel destinations you shouldn’t miss in 2012.

CEO Yen Lee wrote on the Huffington Post website that through Facebook’s friend graph they analyzed travel buzz from over 200 million comments to create the list which included destinations in Laos, Spain, South Carolina, Columbia and Bolivia amongst its Top 10.

Alison Osborne of Uptake said they mine millions of travel reviews and score them for thematic characteristics. Adding up the sentiments compiled from millions of reviews gives them insights into family vacations, romantic escapes, budget travel and more for thousands of destinations around the world.

"Uptake has now enhanced that technology and applied it to over 200 million comments, status updates, photo descriptions and check-ins of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users in the Uptake Social Travel Network. We looked at the number of positive sentiments expressed for all destinations this year versus past years and this gave us this list of Top 10 trending destinations on Facebook," said Osborne.

Penticton was the only Canadian city on the list. The article pointed out that with Penticton’s “beautiful beaches, a burgeoning wine industry and outdoor activities galore, it’s quickly becoming a year-round vacation hot spot.”

Eric Sorensen, chair of the Penticton Business Development Group, which oversees operation of Penticton and Wine Country Tourism, called the article a huge coup for the region.

“We are so lucky to have these amazing natural assets — it’s one of the main reasons most of us live here,” said Sorensen. “Now the world knows about them too and we look forward to welcoming them in 2012.”

Allison Markin, who is the owner of All She Wrote consulting and the social media marketer who helped Tourism Penticton develop their social media concepts, said she wasn’t completely shocked that Penticton was listed. She suspects it was a progressive contest held through the Tourism Penticton Facebook page that generated a lot of traffic and started people talking about Penticton, which is more important when it comes to generating buzz than Facebook “likes.” Markin said it is not just the Tourism Penticton effort, but the Downtown Penticton Association, Naramata Bench Wineries and other winery Facebook pages generating a lot of fans and chatter.

“To be ranked with some of these rather exotic destinations is quite something and on such a massive reach too. The fact it was mentioned on the Huffington Post is almost more exciting than being on the list itself. The Huffington Post is one of the most read websites in the world and one that really caters to a demographic that has become the kind of tourist that comes here,” said Markin.


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