Mayor Williams Responds to Conde Nast Traveler's Reader Survey

Posted on  08/03/2013 8:45 am

In response to yesterday’s Condé Nast Traveler’s reader survey that ranked Wilmington as America’s No. 8 unfriendliest city, I felt it necessary for the Williams Administration to communicate to residents and visitors our passion and determination to make the City of Wilmington the envy of the East coast. My thoughts are below.

“As a growing, thriving city it is unfortunate that a traveler has had such an experience. The Williams Administration values each visitor's experience as they stay in our city. We work daily to create an inviting, entertaining, and enjoyable city for all visitors, traveling both for business and leisure. It is not clear how the survey was created, conducted, and/or compiled; however, we believe that the voice of a single unsatisfied visitor is just as important as the one that expresses discontent through a national survey.

Sentiments contrary to Wilmington’s inclusion as an ‘unfriendly’ city are readily available. According to Sarah Willoughby of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau (GWCVB), "Many visitors to Wilmington are impressed with the area and often comment on how friendly our hospitality is."

The Williams Administration is working to improve the experience of our visitors, as well as the daily lives of our residents. Supporting downtown facade improvements, working to increase recognition and celebration of local businesses through the Mayor's ‘Lunch Bunch,’ and, most recently, increasing awareness of Wilmington's energy to engage and celebrate our downtown with the "Jenny on the Block," segment on Fox 29 are just a few of the initiatives underway.

The inherent nature of surveys is that there is always one survey that will contradict the findings of another. For example, last year Parenting Magazine listed Wilmington as one of the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America,*" , yet just two years prior it reported that our city was one of the "Best Cities for Families 2010.**"

As Wilmington's hotel industry grows, and visitors continue to enjoy our city's arts, cultural, historical, and entertainment amenities, I challenge the naysayers to survey patrons at the DuPont® Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the 4th of July Celebration on the Riverfront festivities, this weekend’s Riverfront Blues Festival, or those who will visit for the upcoming August Quarterly celebration. As opposed to ‘unfriendly’ I believe you will hear ‘amazing’ or ‘I will be back again next year.’

* 2011

** 2010