ESTA America has analysed Google Search Volume data to reveal which countries we are searching for flights to and holidays in the most.
Since COVID-19, travel has widely been on hold or very restricted for most countries. The pandemic has cost the travel industry an estimated $935 billion. With travel and tourism contributing an impressive $8.9 trillion to the world’s GDP in 2019, countries are struggling without tourists visiting and feeding the economy.
That said, we’re learning to live with COVID-19 and travel is slowly starting to open up on a safe and restricted level in some countries. So which destinations are we most excited to visit when borders are fully open again?
Here are some key stories that might be of interest to you and your readers:
- The Maldives is revealed as the country we’re searching for the most online, with 130,970 average monthly searches
- Despite the high levels of COVID-19 present in the country, India is in second place with 130,750 monthly average searches
- In third place is Greece with 108,780 searches per month
- In 2020, Italy was the most-searched-for country, in 2021 it has been knocked down to 13th place
The top 10 most searched for countries are:
Global Monthly Search Volume
Out of the top 10 most-searched-for countries, Asia is the continent that features the most, with four (five including Turkey) countries within it taking the top spots. Hotspots such as Thailand, the Maldives and India are clearly grabbing the attention of aspirational wanderers with their golden beaches, scorching weather and bustling cultures.
There are some well-known holiday destinations that we aren’t as excited to visit again post-Covid, such as Morocco, with just 14,840 average monthly searches, United Arab Emirates, with 13,700 searches and popular travel hotspot, Laos, with just 2,890 searches.
But how have our travel aspirations changed over the past year?
In August last year, we wanted to visit Italy the most - Italy has now dropped down to the 13th most-searched-for country to either get a flight to, or holiday in. Following this, both Mexico and Thailand have both been bumped down the list this year, too.
Commenting on the research, Angelica Harding, Director of International Development at Esta-america.com: “Free movement and travel has been off the cards for many countries for nearly 18 months now. With the travel industry slowly opening its doors back up, and vaccination rates increasing, we’re in a position to start venturing abroad.
“The top 10 countries we’re most looking forward to visiting are all over the globe, which gives me great hope that both longhaul adventures, as well as mini city breaks will be popular again soon.”