Search engine giant Google’s annual Zeitgeist trends listings reveal that Rio de Janeiro was the most searched for travel destination of 2012, while the rest of the top ten offers some surprises and insight into what will be popular in 2013.
Brazil’s exotic coastal city of Rio de Janeiro is due to host two major international sporting events over the coming years, having been scheduled to hold the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and winning the bid to hold the next Olympics in 2016.
The online buzz around the these two events has been intense for the past year or so – particularly around the time of the London Olympics – and this has seemingly sparked a huge amount of interest in the South American destination.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the country’s on-going financial crisis, Greece came second on the list. Traditionally Greece has been a strong favourite for Brits seeking summer holidays, and it appears the domestic unrest is doing little to stem interest in the destination.
Greece’s high position could well reflect people seeking information about the turmoil in the country before making a decision on whether to visit or not, but it could equally be an indication that Greece is still a strong holiday choice for many regardless of the unrest. It may also be a signal that the economic crisis means that there will be holiday bargains to be had in 2013.
The Olympics undoubtedly boosted London’s ranking, with the capital coming in as the 6th most searched travel destination. Whether or not London can ride on the coat tails of this recent popularity and continue to be a highly searched destination for 2013 remains to be seen.
Other UK destinations to do well include Edinburgh and Cornwall. There has been a strong drive recently by the government to encourage Brits to holiday at home rather than abroad. The recently-launched Visit England and Visit Britain campaigns could well have contributed to the increase in popularity of these domestic destinations.
Also featuring in the top ten most searched destinations were perennial favourites Barcelona, Paris and Bruges, as well as Dubai.
Here is the top ten list in full:
- Rio de Janeiro