The ‘How Quickly You End Up Having to Go to the Zoo’ Test

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Perhaps San Diego excepted, FT columnist Michael Skapiner’s test for a city is a clever way to judge its tourist appeal:

Whether a city is “liveable” depends, of course, on what you want out of life. The EIU considers stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure to be key criteria.

I prefer to look at how quickly you end up having to go to the zoo.

Let’s look at the “most liveable” cities’ own suggestions of their top 10 attractions. On the Melbourne official site’s “things to do” list, highlight number one is Eureka Skydeck 88, “a switchable glass cube that slides you out from the building’s 88th floor for unsurpassed views of Melbourne and far beyond”. Highlight number two is the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

I am alert to destinations that quickly tout a ‘historic center’ rather than specific standout attractions. Been to far too many of those and usually disappointed. Here is another test that cuts through the spin.

Readers, pick a city and where does it score on the zoo test?

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By FT I thought you were talking about Flyertalk and not the Financial Times!


Interesting, but I would not agree that Vienna fails because the zoo is listed second. That seems uninformed.