Where the World Wants to Go
Leading online visa application and assistance processing firm Official-esta.com recently used the Google Keyword Planner tool to find the countries that people are most looking forward to traveling to for a post-lockdown getaway using terms such as “Flights to Destination X” and “Holidays in Destination X.” Here are the 10 garnering the most interest heading into the final third of 2020.
It should come as no surprise that travelers can’t wait to visit Down Under. With 1,174,920 annual global searches, Australia edges out nearby New Zealand and China to kick off the top 10. Nonetheless, the nation has yet to fully reopen to tourism.
Despite strict travel restrictions, Japan continues to be on the minds of travelers around the globe, tallying 1,257,360 annual global searches. The country was supposed to be buzzing this summer as host of the 2020 Olympic Games but instead reported just 3,800 visitors in July, marking a year-on-year decline of 99.9 percent for the fourth consecutive month.
Turkey reopened its borders to travelers this summer, a decision that has likely boosted interest in the transcontinental nation. According to Official-esta.com’s research, Turkey is the eighth-most-searched country with 1,459,920 annual global searches based on data pulled from August 2020.
Greece was one of the first countries to reopen to foreign tourists this summer and finds itself firmly in the top 10 of the most sought-after destinations for a post-lockdown vacation with 1,468,440 annual global searches.
Canada continues to keep its borders closed to U.S. travelers but the decision doesn’t appear to be having a negative impact on interest in the North American country, which ranks sixth with more than 1.5 million annual global searches.
One of the world’s most-visited countries in terms of international tourists, Spain remains a coveted escape, picking up well over 1.5 million annual global searches, according to Official-esta.com’s Google Search Volume data. The European hotspot was among the many to resume tourism this summer but remains off limits to Americans heading into the fall.
Thailand is always a favorite among international travelers but the beloved Asian country has been closed to foreign visitors this summer amid fears that it could remain shutdown through the remainder of 2020. Fortunately, officials have been considering health and safety programs that could permit a reopening as soon as October.
Mexico continues to be one of the most accessible international destinations for Americans in the time of COVID-19, with popular tourist areas such as Los Cabos and Riviera Maya having been open to U.S. travelers for months. Many of the country’s beautiful beaches have since followed suit. Mexico’s 1,722,360 searches per year are good enough for third-most in the world.
2. The Maldives
The Maldives reopened its borders to travel on July 15, much to the delight of eager travelers hoping to return to the South Asian island nation’s world-class beaches and breathtaking overwater bungalows.
Italy was one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis but remains as alluring as ever, based on Google search data, garnering nearly 2 million annual global searches (1,939,440), which is more than 140,000 higher than the second-ranked Maldives.
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