For the second straight year, Philadelphia has struck tourism marketing gold.
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide-book publisher in the world, just named Philadelphia the "Best in the U.S." on its list of top-10 "unexpectedly exciting places to see" in 2016. The top billing follows up Philly's appearance at No. 3 on the New York Times' global list of 52 Places to Go in 2015.
Here's some of what Lonely Planet said about Philly: "Visited by Pope Francis, hosting the Democratic National Convention in July, and freshly crowned as the U.S.'s first and only World Heritage City (joining the ranks of Cairo, Paris and Jerusalem), Philly's on a roll. NYC's more neighborly neighbor is experiencing a transformation to its urban core."
The tout by Lonely Planet adds to a recent string of noteworthy "listicle" appearances by Philadelphia that have tourism officials and politicians smiling wide. At the same time, it's given rise to wisecracks from some local observers such as local culture blog Philebrity, which precedes its posts about each new list with the headline, "Dept. of Meaningless Lists: ..."
Other lists Philly made in 2015 include: Time magazine's "9 Best Cities for Biking to Work"; financial services company JLL's ranking of fastest-rising millenial populations among the 10 largest U.S. cities; and the Washington Post's "10 Best Food Cities in America."
Like clockwork, those tourism officials at Uwishunu Philadelphia quickly blogged Tuesday about Lonely Planet's ranking, adding: "Philadelphia is a thriving metropolis and clearly we Philadelphians are not the only to have noticed."
Lonely Planet's list, now in its sixth year, is created by the company's U.S.-based editors and travel writers.
The full list: