Despite the prolonged haze of the pandemic and the joyless deja vu of another winter battling COVID, global travel is still coming alive.
And as the pandemic has evolved, so have travellers’ tastes. According to Tripadvisor, they are now more inclined to trade serene mountains and rural getaways for big cities and crowded beaches.
The popular bookings website recently released its annual roundup of top destinations, and there’s perhaps no greater sign of things getting back to normal than the fact that people are once again flocking to pack the beaches along the European coast. Five of the 10 hottest destinations in the world – which have seen the biggest year-on-year increase in interest on the platform – belong to the Mediterranean coastline, including the spanish island of mallorcawho took first place, as well as Rhodes and Santorini in the Aegean Seaand Dubrovnik, Croatia– often called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and one of many countries that beckoned digital nomads at the height of the pandemic.
Other famous beaches of Mexico and Brazil also cracked the top ten. They were joined by destinations in Tanzaniawith its African safaris and Kilimanjaro base camps; Turkey, for its rock churches and rock chimneys; and Cairo, Egypthome of the legendary pyramids.
While last year’s hot destinations also featured their fair share of beaches, many were low-key: Sanya, China; Kas, Turkey; and Guadeloupe, France, for example, saw more interest in 2021, along with the Smoky Mountain town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the thrill sports paradise of Queenstown, New Zealand, where much of the the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was filmed.
Last year, outdoor adventures were also trending, enough that Tripadvisor created a new ranking just for national parks. But this year, the big commercial capitals dominated: the most popular destination in the world was dubai, in the United Arab Emirates – a glittering mecca filled with tourists, towering resorts and luxury boutiques, and another city that has moved to woo nomadic workers. In second place was the bustling metropolis of London, England.
In the United States, the most popular destinations of 2022 included Las Vegas, Nevada, which took the top spot, as well as other anime hubs like New York, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Nashville, TN.