CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Already a city recognized on a number of "best" lists, Charleston is now being honored as the top city in the world.
Condé Nast has released its Readers' Choice Awards and Charleston takes the top spot on the "Top Cities in the World" list. The Holy City was previously recognized as Condé Nast's "Top City in the United States" in 2011.
Frank Fredericks, Chairman of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said, "Condé Nast is one of the most highly regarded travel magazines in the world. The readers of the magazine are aspiring to go to great places and we hope this recognition means they will visit soon."
Charleston received a Reader's Choice Rating of 86.7, beating out second place Cape Town, South Africa (84.8) and third place Florence, Italy (83.8) to take the top spot.
The Condé Nast Readers Choice Awards use six criteria to decide who ranks among the top. The categories include ambiance, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture/sites, and shopping.
"Out of all the cities, Charleston was rated as the most friendliest," said Fredericks. "The warmth and friendliness of Charlestonians is what separates us from our competitors."
This year, 47,000 readers voted in the award, an all-time record. 27,000 participated last year.
Fredericks says this honor would not have been possible without all the people who call Charleston their home.
"I am so proud of the hospitality industry in Charleston for helping to get us this recognition. I am also proud of the residents who have so much pride about their city."
The top ranking makes Charleston not only a must-see city in the United States, but a must-see city in the world.
"There are great hotels, great restaurants everywhere. To have that, and the history, plus super-friendly people? You can't get that anywhere else in the world," said Fredericks.
As one Condé Nast reader said, Charleston is, "a bucket list city!"