Google has just released its “Year in Search” report for 2022, which includes top searches in different categories such as news, people, actors, athletes, and many more. The report also sheds light on trends related to tourism, especially due to its Google Flights functionality. The analytical date collected by Google Flights searches revealed the top 10 places where Americans were interested in this year.
A representative from Google told CNN that “‘trending’ queries are the searches that had a high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2022 as compared to 2021.” This means that trending destinations aren’t necessarily the most searched, but rather shown spikes in interest this year.
The results showed that the Asia-Pacific region is set to lose its title as the world’s largest travel region this year. This is in part due to the restrictive ‘zero Covid’ measures imposed in China, plus the cautious opening of other countries such as Japan. Mumbai and New Delhi made the US Google Flights list as India reopened its borders in late 2021. US passport holders can apply for travel visas online. Meanwhile, Vietnamese destinations such as Ho Chi Minh City ranked high most likely due to the fact that the country reopened to tourism in early 2022.
It was perhaps no surprise that several European destinations made the list given that many countries have eased entry requirements including vaccinations and negative Covid tests. In most countries, masks are now suggested rather than mandatory. A weaker Euro has also contributed to the increase in the number of travelers arriving to the continent. France’s tourism sector was buoyed by an influx of US tourists this summer. Analysts believe the trend might continue way into 2023.
Despite rumors that Portugal’s golden visa might be phased out, the program remains valid. The golden visa scheme began in 2012 and it’s quite simple: invest a big amount of money in the country and in return you receive a residence permit. In exchange for investing millions in local businesses, promoting jobs, or acquiring properties, non-European families were given the opportunity of gaining residency permits to a number of European nations.
They also enjoy the benefit of free traveling across the EU and within the Schengen countries. After some years they can apply for citizenship in the host country, although this varies from country to country. In Portugal, it’s after 6 years whereas in Italy, it is after 10 years.
Top 10 destinations
- London, UK
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Paris, France
- New Delhi, India
- Toronto, Canada
- Rome, Italy
- Mumbai, India
- Vancouver, Canada
- Lisbon, Portugal
- New York, US