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TripAdvisor ranks Destin in top five of summer destinations

A major travel website has ranked Destin as one of its top five destinations for summer. A survey of TripAdvisor customers named Destin as one of their "top summer escapes".

Laura Hussey "Here in Destin, they call it the hundred days of summer. The next few weeks are a make or break time for a lot of small businesses like these charter boats. There couldn't be a better time for a great rating on TripAdvisor"

People who took TripAdvisor's summer survey said their number one destination was the beach. And what better beach than this one?

Frank Scurlock/New Orleans "From California to Miami Beach to even the south coast of France, this is my beach, this is my home"

Technically, Myrtle Beach swiped the top spot, but Destin is on its heels, trumped only by Las Vegas and New York.

Greg Fisher/TripShock "TripAdvisor is the, I would say, number one vacation planning website in the country, so to have that honor is huge"

Greg Fisher books accommodations and activities on his website TripShock. He says Destin is starting to see a wider variety of visitors.

Greg "It's not so much just the Southeast market, but we're opening up to wider audiences across the US, international"

Tripadvisor's survey showed that trend could continue, with seventy-one percent of people saying they intend to vacation somewhere new.

Okaloosa's Tourism Director says the website is powerful because the reviews and ratings come from customers, not destinations paying to promote themselves. If the Mardis family from Atlanta is any example, Destin businesses are already seeing the benefits.

Trish Mardis/GA "It's an app on our Iphone, we use it a lot, we trust it a lot, we always look at the reviews, especially him. So that's how we picked the snorkeling and the dolphin cruise we went on today"    

Laura Hussey "Retailers could certainly expect a piece of the pie. When Trip Advisor customers were asked their number one activity for summer, they answered shopping."