New Zealand third most popular travel destination, thanks to a domestic boost

Travel

Despite the border closure, New Zealand saw significant web traffic from 645,000 hotel and flight searches. Photo/William Hook; Pawel Czerwinski, Unsplash

New research has found New Zealand to be the third most popular holiday destination in the world.

As international travel returns to the forefront of vacationers’ minds around the world, exotic locations are also returning to the search bars of internet browsers.

Google searches for flights and hotels over the past 12 months have revealed a cluster of countries that show up again and again.

The Maldives is at the top of the list, with a large number of searches coming from the United States and Europe. Next come Malta, then Aotearoa and Cyprus in third place.

As air links and reservations return, these countries hope that internet traffic can soon turn into tourist traffic.

New Zealand was at the top of Australia's travel wish list.  Photo / Sophie Turner, Unsplash
New Zealand was at the top of Australia’s travel wish list. Photo / Sophie Turner, Unsplash

New Zealand was in the mix largely thanks to the volume of searches done from two countries. However, one of these countries was itself.

New Zealand tops the search rankings in Australia and the country, thanks in large part to strong domestic travel demand over the past 12 months. Australia was also eager to jump into the ditch, with Queenstown hotels and Trans-Tasman flights being the most sought after.

Widely closed borders haven’t stopped New Zealand from racking up an impressive 645,800 individual searches for flights and hotels over the past year.

The Maldives recorded 2.5 million travel searches last year.  Photo / Ishan Seefromthes, Unsplash
The Maldives recorded 2.5 million travel searches last year. Photo / Ishan Seefromthes, Unsplash

Although new horizons are opening up, domestic tourism remains important and a major consideration for Kiwi travelers.

Malta, meanwhile, edged out New Zealand in second place due to its popularity as a short-haul destination from the UK, Germany and other European countries. It saw 650,300 searches.

Using Google search terms, online luggage storage locator Bounce ranked favorite destinations for the period February 2021 to January 2022.

“Most Popular” was defined as the top-ranked destination in the most international markets.

For overall search volume, New Zealand was ranked 16th, largely thanks to domestic travel searches.

The Maldives again topped the list with 2.46 million Google searches, followed by India with 1.48 million searches and then Singapore with 1.24 million.