Saturday, June 6, 2020

Post-pandemic travel planning

Study shows U.S. travelers are dreaming about the Maldives, Greece, and Fiji.

With coronavirus travel restrictions still in full swing, vacations are starting to feel like a distant memory.

Airlines and global travel companies continue to postpone tourism activities amid the pandemic. However, many people (including me!) are still dreaming about their next big getaway.

The experts at InsureMyTrip have reviewed data using Google search trends to find out which destinations U.S. citizens are planning to visit once restrictions have been lifted. The data was collected for each state and the country as a whole from Google Keyword Planner .
Sandy beaches, turquoise water, and warm weather
made the Maldives a dream vacation spot. 
Of the top ten nearly half of the destinations are in the Caribbean (Aruba, Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Jamaica).  With North America accounting for 53% of its visitors in 2019, it’s clear the islands are still a favorite with the U.S. population.

Interestingly, the Dominican Republic does not make the top ten, even though 29% of the recorded U.S. visitors traveled to the island last year. It is rated the 20th most desired country to visit during this time of decreased travel.
White buildings topped by blue domes are prevalent in Mykonos, a
favorite Greek island for visitors.

Jamaica was the second most visited Caribbean island in 2019, accounting for 12% of U.S. visitors and seems to have held onto its popularity. It is in the seventh position for the most Googled.

The most dreamed about destination in the U.S. overall is the Maldives, which received 18,100 searches during the stay-at-home order. The archipelago of over 1,000 islands is renowned for its remoteness, tranquil beaches, and luxury properties.

Costa Rica

While it remains an expensive option, it is reasonable to assume that social distancing has influenced travel daydreams to include indulging in luxury and tropical islands with pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.    
Snorkeling and diving reveal beautiful coral around Fiji.
It’s also well-known that tourism is the largest sector of the Maldives' economy, providing for more than 28% of its GDP. No doubt the island will be pleased about increased potential interest from U.S. visitors once it is safe to travel again.

The state with the highest contribution of searches for the Maldives is California, followed by Georgia, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Greece is second on the list with 14,800 searches during April, which was influenced by a high contribution of searches by Texans. Additionally, there were eleven states in total that picked Greece as their top choice for a post-pandemic visit.
In fourth place, Costa Rica is relatively near to U.S. and offers
outstanding natural settings with beaches and mountains.
Because Greece has become so popular with tourists, some of its islands put a daily cap on cruise passengers last year to prevent overcrowding and traffic issues. With its pleasant weather, strong cultural heritage, and unique cuisine, it is not surprising Greece is the European destination with the biggest increase in visitors in a decade.

Fiji is in position three and had 9,900 Google searches over this period. It was recently listed as one of the top thirty islands to visit in 2019, due to its biodiversity, remarkable reefs, and infamous Orchid collection at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. The states with the highest contribution of searches for Fiji are Idaho and Arizona.

Dunns River Falls is a prime attraction in Jamaica. Water seems to be
a primary attraction for vacations post-pandemic.
California and Texas show the largest contribution of searches for foreign destinations over the lockdown period. Wyoming has the lowest number during this timeframe, followed by Alaska and Delaware.

It seems Americans are not just interested in sunny climes once travel restrictions are lifted either. Delving further down the list Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, and Japan also make the top twenty.
Mountains and lakes accentuate beautiful scenery in Switzerland.
Commenting on the findingsRonni Kenoian from InsureMyTrip says:

“This data clearly suggests a strong desire to travel again when the timing is right. During these unprecedented times, travelers are dreaming about these “wishlist” destinations, and it’s exciting to see where the imagination is taking us.”

To view the full data for each state please visit InsureMyTrip’s dedicated webpage here. Note: For the study, they submitted the top 50 most visited countries in the world, according to The World Tourism Rankings, into Google Keyword Planner with “vacation” following each country. To assess “international travel” the United States was removed from this list, leaving 49 countries. 

This post is used courtesy of  Mairead Folan and InsureMyTrip.

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