The United States and Spain were the most-searched destinations in the second quarter of 2015, according to the new Q2 Global Travel Insights Report from travel marketing platform Sojern.
Rounding out the most-searched destinations were Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and Russia. The latter re-entered the list after a quarter’s hiatus, replacing Thailand.
Destinations With the Most Dramatic Rise in Traveler Interest Year on Year
Beyond the top 10, here are the destinations that captured the most traveler interest by region since summer 2014:
In North America, Haiti moved up 34 ranks since summer 2014, after experiencing a dramatic decline in tourism in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, followed by Iceland, up 11 spots.
For travelers from Western Europe, Cuba pushed up 12 places to position 41, thanks to a lot of media attention and the detente with the U.S. Czech Republic, Iceland and Romania each moved seven places up in the ranking.
In Latin America, Aruba’s appeal increased over last year, pushing it up 11 spots, followed, by Hungary, up 10 spots. The latter is one of the more affordable European destinations, as a non-Eurozone country.
In Southeast Asia, Bangladesh moved up eight spots and Qatar seven since summer 2014.
For travelers from the Middle East, Sudan gained the most popularity (up 24 spots), followed closely by Bosnia and Herzegovina (21 spots), a country which the World Tourism Organization estimates will have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world by 2020.
Cuba Continues To Gain Interest From Travelers Globally
Cuba continued its upward trajectory this past quarter, moving up another spot since Q1, to position 14 on the list of top 20 most popular Caribbean destinations for Americans. That is a five place jump up from number 19 back in December 2014, which means that now Cuba ranks higher than Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the British Virgin Islands. The Caribbean island state also moved up on West Europeans’ radars, climbing 12 places since summer 2014.
Greece Remains Tourist Magnet, In Spite of Financial Troubles
Over the past two quarters, Greece remained in the top 10 most popular destinations globally, and in the top 10 most popular destinations for Europeans, although they dropped in the latter by four places to position eight in the last quarter. Following the announcement of the referendum, travel intent numbers to Greece had gone down by around 23 percent globally, but, as of July 8, Sojern was already seeing indications of a rebound in traveler interest.
Post-Ramadan Travel Skyrockets in the Middle East
Following the conclusion of Ramadan, the average regional week-on-week travel intent peaked at 180 percent in the Middle East. July 16 was the heaviest travel day, followed by a four-day period of consistently high travel volumes. Average trip durations also increased significantly: 63 percent of travelers from the region looked to travel for more than eight days and almost 45 percent for 12 days or more, at least partially reflecting the number of public holidays observed in the region.