Results of "Favorite Country" poll plus prize winners

By Armond Noble
This item appears on page 76 of the November 2011 issue.

by Armond Noble, Publisher

Dr. Tim Wall, Oroville, CA, suggested a few questions for me to ask our readers. Here’s what he wants you to write in about. Gentlemen, on any overseas trips recently, did you get a haircut? Where and when did you get it? Were you pleased? How much did it cost? And, ladies, did you use the services of a beauty salon while outside of the US? Where, when and how much was it? Were you satisfied? Delighted?

Now for the results of your voting on an all-time Favorite Country (let’s make that Favorite Destination), one you might even consider retiring in. You can look down the list and possibly find an idea for your next trip.

Tied for First Place were Italy and New Zealand. Then, with 84.2% as many votes as either of those, came France. Next came England followed by Australia. Switzerland just beat out India. A notch down was South Africa, then Germany. Austria, Ireland and Spain were a photo-finish tie. Israel was trailed by Norway and China. With an equal number of advocates were Antarctica, Bhutan, Croatia, the Netherlands and Turkey. Then came Brazil and Tibet. The next grouping comprised Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Cuba, the Galápagos, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malta, Myanmar, Nepal, Scotland, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam. The favorites of others were Bermuda, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, Madeira, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

We also asked you to name your Least Favorite Country/Destination. Number one was India — which, you’ll remember, came in at No. 4 for most favorite country (with 73.6% as many votes as either country at No. 1); we’ll let someone with a Ph.D in something or other figure that one out. Next on the “baddie” list were Mexico and Morocco (tied), followed by Egypt, France (No. 3 favorite), Jamaica, Nigeria, Romania and Russia.

Some of our readers were “less than thrilled” by Burundi, Belarus, Brunei, Brazil (which was also on the favorites list), Cameroon, Cayman Islands, China (also a favorite), Costa Rica, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, French Guiana, Haiti, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy (No. 1 favorite), Kenya, Liberia, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Sicily, Spain, Swaziland, Trans-Dniestria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Then came Angola and São Tomé.

Please, NO heated letters on “How could someone NOT vote for…” or “How could someone vote against XXXX, certainly one of the garden spots of the world.” This just proved the old adage, “That’s why there are eight horses in a race.”

Now for the prizes: Gretchen Tinkle, Los Alamos, NM (lifetime ITN subscription); Maggie Holler, Cupertino, CA (three-year ITN subscription); Nanci Micklon, Fayetteville, NY ($50 Magellan’s Travel Supplies gift certificate); Robert Quillin, Centennial, CO (two-year ITN subscription); Gary Spinks, DeWitt, MI (ITN wristwatch — to use when climbing Kilimanjaro or canoeing the Amazon, so you don’t damage your Rolex); Jim Ziegler, Perkiomenville, PA (one-year ITN subscription); Marjorie Clark, Denver, CO (no charge when applying for any [and all] of the ITN Travel Award Certificates).

Six-month ITN subscription extensions go to Jean Frazier, Scarborough, ME, and Bea Emanuel, Minneapolis, MN. And three-month ITN subscription extensions go to Joe Huddy, Lacey, WA; Jane and Clyde Holt, Hinesburg, VT; Dr. and Mrs. Leroy Lance, Fullerton, CA; Nili Olay, New York, NY, and Carole Reagle, Waterloo, IA.

What makes all these fun and games possible, and what has kept us going since 1976, is this very important factor: readers who send in the names and addresses of their friends who travel. We send each friend a free sample copy of ITN. That’s how we get our new subscribers.

For those who may be new readers, I’ll again mention: we DO NOT use your name and address in any way, and the names sent us are never sold or traded to anyone else. That’s a solemn promise.

And we’d like to hear from you. Criticisms, suggestions, lavish praise — whatever. Your opinion counts.