It is not the most popular travel destinations but the holiday locations that had the highest spikes in searches on Google in the US in the past 12 months - a wish list.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on December 17, 2019

Search engine Google has revealed the 10 most popular travel destination trends of the year.

It is not the most popular travel destinations but the holiday locations that had the highest spikes in searches on Google in the US in the past 12 months – a wish list.

So what’s hot in travel? Americans searched for “trip to…” these 10 places most of all:

Maldives

Google Trends, Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island

“It’s pure utopia,” writes Emily Pidgeon of The CEO Magazine.

“Suspended over crystal-clear turquoise waters, waking up in my sunrise suite was genuinely awe-inspiring. From my private timber deck with a staircase leading straight into the ocean to the freestanding bath with an uninterrupted sea view and the glass floor at the foot of the toilet (so you can watch tropical fish swim by), it is easy to see why the destination is synonymous with opulence.”

Google Trends showed newer properties, such as Kudadoo Maldives and Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, were the most popular in terms of searches this year.

Japan

Google Trends travel, Japan

The world is falling in love with Japan. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation reported that as of September 2019 Japan posted the second highest growth in international tourism receipts, after Australia. The 2020 Summer Olympics are half a year away. Yes, Japan has turned the basic requirement of eating into high art (which explains why its capital city, Tokyo, has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world). And yes, you can drive go-carts through the streets of Tokyo dressed like Batman. And, any nation that has turned Kentucky Fried Chicken into an annual Christmas tradition is in good stead with the American populace, CNBC reported.

Japan is home to beautiful-looking temples, natural onsens, ski resorts to suit families and professionals, the cherry blossoms and people known for their politeness.

Bora Bora

Google, Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort

Bora Bora disappeared from public consciousness after being the destination of your dreams in the eighties and it is an intoxicating sight on arrival with the small islands around Mount Otemanu. Bora Bora is on the comeback trail with the likes of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and The St Regis Bora Bora Resort. People are now searching for flights and resorts, though Google Trends shows recent surges relate to rapper Lil Durk’s “Bora Bora” video and unretouched photos of Demi Lovato in a bikini.

Luxury rooms top UD$1,000 per night, while more modest, grass thatched-and-drift-wood accommodations have daily rates of US$300 or less. A third option is to cruise around on the Paul Gauguin, an all-inclusive deluxe vessel, named after the artist who spent the last years of his life in French Polynesia.

Las Vegas

Google, Las Vegas

Clearly there are a lot of Americans who love the thought of going wild in Vegas. That’s according to the Google searches anyway.

It is, of course, a gambling mecca, and there’s showgirls, big name musicians in residence, epic clubs and action-packed casinos. It’s glitz, glam and gutter life rolled into one discount weekend package.

Google Trends reveals what people want to know about Sin City. People search for hotels, flights, shows and — Craigslist!

Vegas had 42.1 million visitors last year.

Mexico

Google, Aterlier Estudio Playa Mujeres

Mexico may only be the fifth most popular place to search on Google for trips, but for Americans it will be the No. 1 place to actually go to.

Mexico has been the most popular international holiday destination for Americans for many years. The most searched travel question in the US in 2015 was: “What to pack for Cancun?”

The attraction is close, warm, relatively affordable and offers everything from the ruins of Chichén Itzá to tequila tours by train. Americans also love the food as many are familiar with it back home.

The hottest destination on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast is Playa Mujeres — aka Costa Mujeres — a booming new resort area about a half-hour north of Cancun’s hotel zone and 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport. In just over a decade, 10 luxury, mostly all-inclusive resorts have opened on Playa Mujeres, beginning with the Excellence Playa Mujeres and the most recent Aterlier Estudio Playa Mujeres, a 593-unit all-suites resort that launched in October.

The US Embassy in Mexico City estimates around 1.5 million Americans live in Mexico, more than seven times the number since 1990.

The second half of the top 10 list shows a domestic bent — Alaska, New Orleans, California and New York, in that order – with one exception, Costa Rica in 10th.

Although Americans have a reputation for stateside travel, Google’s “Year in Search 2019” data shows that Americans are setting their sights on international shores. And with the number of Americans with passports now at 42% — up from just 4% in 1990 – more people are poised to turn their search dreams into reality.