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Cape Breton rated top island in Canada, continental US

By Doug MacKenzie – The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — A major travel publication has recognized Cape Breton Island as a world-class vacation destination.
Travel + Leisure magazine named Cape Breton the best island to visit in the continental United States and Canada in the 2008 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. The ranking was released July 9.

“Travel + Leisure magazine is very prestigious and this is a world-class award and this is great recognition,” said Sandra MacDonald, general manager of the Destination Cape Breton Association. “It’s an award for something we know and we have right here in our own backyard, but don’t probably experience it as much as a visitor does or look at it through a visitor’s eyes.

“I think we need to stop and have a look and realize this is beauty at its best. We have wonderful people, wonderful music and wonderful opportunities for tourists.”

Cape Breton Island ranks 10th on the list of Top 10 islands overall in the world in this year’s survey and is the only Canadian island ranked in the Top 10. In 2006, Cape Breton was second on the list of the Top 5 Islands in the continental United States and Canada.

“We’ve known and loved the unique beauty of Cape Breton all our lives and with this high-profile ranking, more people from around the world will be drawn to experience its charms,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “It confirms that Nova Scotia is a top quality tourism destination that can compete with exotic locations around the world.”
Destination Cape Breton will use the designation to help market tourism said Sandra MacDonald, who also hopes Cape Bretoners are proud of their home.

“We hope we can have the opportunity to market,” she said. “This comes with a logo award and we will be in New York to accept the award in July. This readership is pretty broad and this is something we are certainly proud of and we should market and capitalize on.
“We should be proud of living on Cape Breton Island and having this in our own backyard to explore. I hope people get out there and enjoy what we have and are proud of it.”

The magazine invited subscribers to help rank islands, cities, hotels, car-rental agencies, airlines, tour companies and cruise lines. Readers rate islands based on natural attractions, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people and value.

The complete 2008 results, including the top 100 hotels worldwide, top 10 cities in the world and top 10 islands in the world is posted on www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest and will be featured in Travel + Leisure’s August issue, available on newsstands July 22.

By Doug MacKenzie – The Cape Breton Post

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