The much anticipated and highly influential guide to the top travel trends, destinations and experiences for the upcoming year has placed Manchester in the Top 10 Cities category alongside destinations such as Rome in Italy, Nashville in the United States and Mumbai in India.
The city’s significant investment in the arts – through projects such as the Whitworth, HOME, Manchester International Festival and upcoming arts centre The Factory – is given as one of the key reasons for Manchester’s inclusion in the list. The guide states that “the one-time engine room of the Industrial Revolution has found a new groove for the 21st century as a dynamo of culture and the arts”.
The entry goes on to namecheck a number of key places – both old and new – that visitors should make sure they incorporate into their itinerary to experience the best of the city. These include the reopened Manchester Central Library; real life escape room game Breakout; Old Trafford and Etihad stadium tours; Levenshulme Market; Islington Mill; Manchester House restaurant; and Manchester Craft and Design Centre. South King Street, Spinningfields, the Arndale and the Northern Quarter all get a mention for shopping; Great John Street Hotel is suggested as the place to stay; whilst unmissable events include Manchester’s upcoming European City of Science celebrations, Manchester Pride and Manchester Food and Drink Festival.
Commenting on the inclusion, Nick Brooks-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, part of the Manchester Growth Company, said: “We are delighted that Lonely Planet has recognised Manchester as one of the top cities in the world to visit in 2016. This year has been filled with milestone moments for Manchester – from world-class cultural openings at the Whitworth and HOME to outstanding events in the form of Manchester International Festival and Manchester Pride’s 25th year – and this is a fantastic way to end the year and celebrate tourism going into 2016.”
James Smart, Lonely Planet’s Destination Editor for the UK and Ireland, said: “We included Manchester in this year’s top ten cities list because it deserves to be recognised as one of the UK’s most important destinations for travellers. Manchester has been transformed in recent years, with inspirational new openings, the reinvention of existing spaces and vast investment. Whatever experience travellers are after – culture, sport, shopping, nightlife – they won’t come away from Manchester disappointed. The city has something to offer everyone.”