Ranking the Regions

The website uses a simple ranking methodology to help categorize travel destinations into various categories. People travel for different reasons and have different expectations. Some travelers do so with a special interest in mind, maybe a castle or a local delicacy. Others may be chasing the perfect Instagram picture or living a dream lifestyle. I have a ranking system across several categories to help find the best places for each person.

To give recommendations, I have collected data and aggregated it across different regions, and categories, then calculated a simple percentile score. On each page, it will look like this:

Social Score

6.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Hype: 5.3
  • Growth: 5.4
  • Wealth: 9.3
  • Recognition: 6.1
Ease of Travel

6.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 5.5
  • Transportation: 9.4
  • Ease of Planning: 2.7
  • Infrastructure: 9.3
  • Interactivity: 6.0
  • Airport: Yes
Historical Immersion

4.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Historical Context: 2.3
  • Monuments: 7.5
  • Quality*: 5.0
  • Landscape: 4.7
  • Vineyards: 3.4
Authenticity

2.6 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Undiscovered: 2.2
  • Cultural Immersion: 2.4
  • Tradition*: 4.0

Social Return

This statistic effectively captures how many likes you will get on a picture taken at the corresponding location. For people who travel to impress, the best destinations will offer a higher “social return” per unit of effort in traveling there. The higher the score, the more likely the region will impress your peers.

Access to geotagged data from Instagram or Facebook is necessary to know precisely where to travel to maximize the gain from conspicuous travel. In the absence of this data, I have used four statistics that correlated highly with Instagram tags on a smaller subset of the data.

  • Hype: One Year Momentum, or percent growth in tourist overnight stays
  • Growth: Five Year Momentum, or percent growth in tourist overnight stays
  • Wealth: GDP Per Capita
  • Recognition: Length of Wikipedia article for the top three destinations in the region

Ease of Travel

This score tries to encapsulate the available infrastructure for tourists. The higher the ranking, the easier it is to travel around and to the region. This includes both physical and non-tangible infrastructure.

  • Accommodation: Number of Hotels per Km2
  • Transportation: Density of Railroads per Km2
  • Ease of Planning: Average Overnight Stays per Hotel
  • Infrastructure: Urban Area Km2 & GDP Per Capita
  • Interactivity: Length of Wikipedia article for the top three destinations in the region
  • Airport: Yes / No

Historical Immersion

This score targets travelers interested in exploring interesting historical monuments or well-preserved historical contexts. Germany, in particular, suffered in WW2 and finding old buildings can be challenging in some regions, especially along the Rhine.

The higher the score, the more interesting the region will be for a special interest traveler exploring a region’s historical identity.

  • Historical Context: Density of Buildings per km2 with a title predating 1919 
  • Monuments: Density of listed monuments per km2, e.g., castle, church, museum, etc. This includes UNESCO heritage sites.
  • Quality*: This value is starred as it is my subjective opinion on how interesting the historical heritage is. A lot of old buildings may not always imply something worth seeing.
  • Landscape: Protected land in Km2, e.g., Natural and cultural parks
  • Vineyards: Land set aside to produce grapes for wine

Authenticity

For individuals looking for cultural immersion, my “authenticity” statistic tries to capture how commodified the tourist experience has become for specific regions. For more information, I talk at length about authenticity here.

As this value increases, the more “authentic” the region will feel for someone looking for unique cultural experiences, such as food, events, art, or architecture. The statistics used here focus on foreign tourists relative to residents. 

  • Undiscovered: These are the residuals calculated from my Foreign Tourist Overnight Stays Regression Model, which I discuss here.
  • Cultural Immersion: The number of foreign visits per permanent resident
  • Tradition*: This is my subjective measure of a region’s local identity and how it is reflected in local culture. E.g., A higher number will imply more localized cuisine, unique cultural events, and a stronger regional identity among locals.

The scores are all percentiles and thus measure each statistic relative to each other. To use the numbers, consider the scores in relation to other regions. So if you wanted to find a region with a lot of historical immersion but with fewer foreign tourists than average, then comparing the historical immersion value and the authenticity value will help guide your research.

The Complete List

Not every region has data available to calculate the scores, and those regions remain on my older subjective ranking system. I will expand them as I collect more data for other countries. Below is a table with the four main statistics for the available regions.

Region PercentilesSocial ReturnEase of TravelHistorical ImmersionAuthenticity
Allgaü76,10 %63,43 %44,11 %39,11 %
Altmark20,79 %27,58 %44,86 %85,07 %
Anhalt39,38 %32,76 %59,97 %63,06 %
Baden61,88 %72,43 %61,70 %50,07 %
Bergisches Land44,40 %53,04 %65,30 %56,90 %
Brandenburg57,54 %50,04 %64,35 %19,52 %
Eastphalia58,94 %53,81 %49,21 %30,06 %
Electoral Palatinate59,15 %58,41 %47,18 %66,23 %
Electoral Saxony42,40 %63,32 %66,53 %72,17 %
Frisia37,92 %28,76 %49,47 %77,04 %
Hessen30,36 %48,48 %55,41 %82,56 %
Hohenlohe55,60 %36,56 %49,93 %67,23 %
Holstein79,45 %53,90 %44,31 %35,93 %
Lake Constance52,52 %61,20 %48,38 %43,05 %
Lower Bavaria38,94 %39,49 %41,74 %43,44 %
Lower Rhine55,85 %63,59 %51,40 %54,31 %
Lower Saxony64,71 %55,75 %44,57 %65,97 %
Lusatia44,55 %40,99 %42,33 %66,65 %
Main Franconia38,44 %35,94 %47,87 %63,10 %
Mecklenburg31,20 %39,93 %45,79 %65,65 %
Middle Franconia60,09 %61,55 %42,99 %51,98 %
Middle Rhine40,45 %59,82 %85,57 %39,52 %
Mosel Valley27,64 %57,11 %43,40 %30,28 %
Odenwald45,97 %45,31 %44,80 %50,15 %
Saarland27,61 %46,69 %54,72 %64,93 %
Sauerland34,22 %56,91 %44,73 %37,67 %
Schleswig67,15 %46,13 %37,84 %45,48 %
Thüringen43,85 %56,05 %53,92 %88,46 %
Uckermark23,89 %17,62 %29,77 %46,35 %
Upper Bavaria82,44 %71,66 %53,53 %54,37 %
Upper Palatinate46,44 %43,53 %39,88 %40,74 %
Upper Swabia78,09 %40,77 %40,75 %44,17 %
Upper-Franconia44,84 %47,08 %47,92 %57,81 %
Vogtland24,90 %38,53 %37,44 %44,97 %
Vorpommern53,57 %46,91 %40,14 %33,50 %
Weser-Engern34,73 %39,19 %38,19 %41,62 %
Westerwald44,11 %45,69 %39,37 %38,21 %
Westphalia41,21 %51,65 %37,98 %44,75 %
Wetterau67,45 %66,85 %47,49 %26,48 %
Württemberg51,55 %60,32 %53,82 %50,29 %

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