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ThereArePlaces Tourism Rating System
The ThereArePlaces Editorial Team has developed a proprietary methodology for assessing the “fitness” of countries as potential vacation destinations for leisure travelers.

Countries earn "globes" based on ThereArePlaces’ criteria for qualifying  as “World Class” destinations.   Our assessment process results in a country being awarded from zero to four globes.  Countries that are awarded four globes offer the potential for a premier vacation experience.   A country that does not earn at least one globe should be avoided by all leisure travelers, as visiting the country is likely to provide a miserable travel experience.

Table 1. Tourism Rating System

Travel destination of a lifetime. Put these countries at the top of your list of places to see and consider visiting them more than once. Countries rated as "Places of a lifetime" offer a cornucopia of treats for the tourist.
     One of the best travel destinations.  Countries in this category should be on your short list of places to see. These countries offer several world-class destinations. In addition, countries in this category may be good candidates for  rest and relaxation vacations.  
Add-on travel destination.   A good place to see when you are on your way to someplace else.  Offers several destinations of interest to tourists but provides few world-class attractions. May have significant interest for some travelers for reasons of family history or cultural heritage.   In addition, several of the "Add-on" rated countries are candidate destinations for "adventure vacations".
Limited attraction for tourists.   Country possesses limited "tourist oriented" destinations.  May have an underdeveloped tourism industry, a tourism environment that is not attractive to leisure travelers, or a lack of major tourist attractions. 
No Globes Awarded Avoid.    Countries not awarded any globes in the ThereArePlaces rating system are generally placed in this category due to terrorism concerns, health risks, political instability, or a host of other factors that conflict with the goals of tourism.

Our methodology for assigning destination ratings to countries is complicated, proprietary and involves trade secrets belonging to ThereArePlaces.  We have spent a great deal of time creating our methodology, in order to provide you with a system that reflects the travel related values of leisure travelers.  For competitive reasons, we are unwilling to reveal  the depth and breadth of our process but we are able to provide you with some general insights into the information that we use to create our rankings.  Some of the variables that we consider in assessing a country's tourism ranking are presented below (in no particular order).

1.    Does the country offer the traveler a significant number of “world-class” destinations that can be easily and inexpensively visited?

 2.    Does the country offer the traveler a significant number of locations to visit that are regarded as "important threads" in the fabric of world heritage?

3.    Does visiting the country provide the traveler with a significant number of unique natural landscapes that possess “signature” value?

4.    Is the country regarded as a world “cultural” icon?

5.    Is the country serviced by efficient and relatively low cost multi-modal, transportation systems?

6.    Is the country's government stable or is the country ruled by a government that is repressive, unstable and acknowledged to be corrupt?

7.    Is the country “tourist friendly?”

8.    Does the country have a “developed” tourism industry?

9.    Has the country implemented programs to insure the safety and security of travelers?

10.  Is the country one where non-native language speaking travelers can travel without significant difficulty?

11.  Is the country a “safe haven for tourists” (that is, not known for widespread crime, tourist crime or violent public demonstrations)?

The scores on these and other questions are analyzed and combined to create  one component of our ranking system.  Additional ranking components, including  tourism statistics, and other direct and indirect measures of tourism, are analyzed and combined into a final country ranking that we use to produce the ThereArePlaces' Tourism  Ratings

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