The popular travel guide Lonely Planet has named Cuenca one of the 10 top cities for travelers in its Best in Travel 2010 guide.
The annual snapshot book focuses on the world's hottest travel trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the year ahead, Lonely Planet says.
The top 10 cities for 2010 are Abu Dhabi, Charleston, South Carolina (USA), Cork (Ireland), Cuenca, Istanbul, Kyoto (Japan), Lecce (Italy), Sarajevo, Singapore and Vancouver (Canada). The top cities were not ranked.
Cuenca has been listed among top travel and relocation destinations by a variety of media for several years. The German magazine Stern named it the top overseas retirement city in 2008 and, in September, International Living called it the world's top retirement city. In January, National Geographic included Cuenca in its list of the world's top 50 historic cities.
Cuenca has also been featured in recent months on television travel shows in the U.S. and Great Britain. Last Monday, the U.S. channel MSNBC ran a feature on foreigners moving to Cuenca, focusing on a local real estate company that specializes in sales to foreign buyers.
David Morrill, Cuenca resident and correspondent for the Financial Times, says he and other expats view such honors with mixed feelings. "We are aware of Cuenca's charms and feel priviledged to live here. On the other hand, we look at these rankings with a certain amount of trepidation. We don't want to see the place overrun by the maurading masses." He adds: "We don't want Cuenca to become another San Miguel de Allende (Mexico)."
Lonely Planet also named its top 10 countries travelers. These included El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname and the United States. British-based Lonely Planet is the top-selling travel guide in the world.