The Experiential Experiment : European Destination Rankings

Disclaimer – This post reflects the opinions of the author and findings based on an experimental methodology. In no way should this be treated as an absolute reference to the true state of tourist destinations.

The cities rated & ranked include –
Cities Rated And Ranked

Having visited a few European cities, I thought of finding out not just for getting others to refer but more so for myself to find out whether deep down I really know which of these places I have liked the most.
The ubiquitous surveys are a great tool – but getting other travellers to rank was subjected to the following:

• It’s tough to find a sample of people who’ve been to these places
• The rating process exposes an issue that I wanted to experiment and address

Think of the following situation –

You have been asked to rate ten different cities on the basis of four parameters like food & stay, transport etc. Now if you were to fill not one but two such forms – do you think you would write exactly the same ratings in both of them?

I myself tried doing it and found them to be different. More so, you can fill such forms in two ways, I call the first one ‘Object-Based Rating’, wherein you rate one city first on all four parameters and then move on to the next city, a screenshot of such a table would look something like this –

Object-Based Rating

The other way of course is ‘Attribute-Based Rating’, wherein you choose to fill the ratings column-wise or rather for one particular attribute, say ‘Places To See’ for all the cities referred to. A typical screenshot would look like this –

Attribute-Based Rating

Now, an interesting piece of information is derived from the deviations in ratings observed for different cities – cumulative as well as parametrized. To filter this in and then come up with the final rankings (basically using means such as variance to determine the winner in case of a tie – in favour of the lower variance city) is something that allowed me to address two things:
• Addressing the whole business of ranking the cities on the basis of overall ratings
• At an individual level, understanding the common threads that show which cities appeal to me more than others – not surprising though that I actually found the rankings to reflect my lack of attraction towards the more touted tourist destinations in general
I present here the findings of the whole experiment, the final ones that is :-)
Of course, I would be more than happy to elaborate on the other facets involved in using the rating numbers to come up with various statistical terms mentioned in the overall results – but that can happen via comments or mails.
From an individual perspective, I realized why some tourist places with a rich ancient history and monuments/artefacts from that era draw me more than plastic structures of the day. Perhaps a few floored me by the sheer feel good factor itself when they lacked the ‘Places To See’ per se but on the whole, I do realize that the sub-conscious actually knows what it wants unlike the conscious rate-the-cities guy. I will not think twice before embarking on a trip to any of these locations – I hope to actually go… ideally, to all of them 😉


The Top 10 Destinations –












The Statistical Backbone –

The Statistical Backbone

3 thoughts on “The Experiential Experiment : European Destination Rankings

  1. Really, haven’t thought of it this way..Dont know if anyone else have either…

    Are you preparing for a PhD in stats??Or aiming for a Nobel in the 7th stream? 😛

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