Searching for Adventure: The Top Travel Destinations of 2022

  • Spain is the UK’s most searched-for destination
  • This is closely followed by the US, Italy, France, and Portugal
  • Dubai and Dublin come out as the top searched-for cities to visit
  • Search data shows a 341% year-on-year increase in travel demand

Holidaymakers are hungrier than ever to get their next trip abroad secured in their calendars. And with more people going online to discover new places to visit, thus making up lost vacation time, travel brands can expect no signs of this increasing appetite waning anytime soon.

As specialists in the travel sector, we wanted to find out which locations are top of travellers’ wish lists. Using exclusive data from Google Destination Insights, we’ve unlocked invaluable information regarding the countries and cities catching the eyes of today’s globetrotters. 

Travel brands, listen up – here are the top trends based on search data.

Are you ready for the journey?

Europe takes the hotspot

First up, let’s take a dive into the top five ranking countries by search volume. The numbers indicate the level of interest in a country (as a percentage) and Spain has the maximum score of 100 – making it the UK’s most searched-for destination.

It’s no surprise that Brits are still craving the holy trinity of sun, sea, and sand for their long-anticipated vacation. Plus, with Italy, France, and Portugal also scoring highly, it’s clear that these common European hotspots continue to spark search interest.

Racing in at a close second to Spain, the US is probably the most surprising wildcard within our data. This suggests there is a definitive craving for new adventures that take travellers across the pond – whether that’s for a bite of the Big Apple or the thrill of the Wild West.

United States78%

How did we discover this? We pulled data from Google Destination Insights to determine the highest-searched destinations over the course of a six-month period. This enabled us to get an accurate glimpse into where Brits are hoping to book their next holiday.

From Dubai to Dublin – the most popular cities for Brits

Let’s move on to the highest-ranked cities. The ultra-modern destination of Dubai has proved to be a tremendous hit for those looking for a luxury experience combined with an endless supply of blazing sun to match. The less-expected contender here is Dublin. With staycations being the only option for Brits over the past two years, you might assume that the further the city is from our home turf, the more popular it would be. Turns out they’d be wrong – because sometimes all people really want is an easily accessible city break. And if anywhere is going to deliver in that department, it’s Ireland’s much-loved capital. Pass the Guinness.

Speaking of convenient travel – New York, Amsterdam, and Paris are by no means falling far behind the top spot. This suggests a rising interest in adventure-packed trips that offer a limitless amount of culture and Insta-worthy sights to capture – an insight which travel brands should keep at the forefront for when it comes to planning their marketing campaigns.

  Dubai  100%
New York84%

More generally, we saw a huge spike in travel demand between December 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 compared with the same period 12 months prior – amounting to an astounding 341% year-on-year increase in the volume of searches made. This indicates a radical rise in potential holiday makers well primed for their long-anticipated trips outside the UK.

Search Made Simple

Now we’ve covered the holiday destinations people are most likely to search for, brands will also need to consider the needs travellers might have when they’re deciding where they’d like to visit. From wanting to learn more about different locations to searching for the best deals – thinking about the intent of your potential customers is key to standing out in an increasingly lively market.

We’ve been creating insight-led campaigns in the travel sector for many years. We understand the challenges brands face when it comes to being seen, heard, and listened to in a crowded world of competition. And equally, we know the transformative power of getting your strategy right with clever insights, technical genius, and inspired creative.

We’ll connect the dots between your post-pandemic commercial objectives and the opportunities presented by the surge in travel demand. Now that’s search made simple.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our team today.