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The decade has belonged to these destinations

Countries, cities for which travel searches have grown most in the last 10 years

It could be that they’re recently discovered gems, rediscovered gems, started from a low basepoint, or are simply going through a golden age. 


Whatever the reason, these are the countries and cities that have experienced the biggest growth in tourism interest over the past 10 years, according to a analysis of global travel patterns from Google Trends


The Philippines


Nationally, the Philippines has recorded the highest increase in searches over the past decade, with a massive 170.5% rise, followed by South Korea (+76.1%), and surprisingly, Saudi Arabia (+56.4%). 


Perhaps even more unexpected was the rise in interest in the world’s largest land-locked country, Kazakhstan (+47.8%). 


At the other end of the scale, the countries that saw the biggest declines in interest were Egypt (-84.8%), Tunisia (-71.2%) and Turkey (-67%). 


When it comes to cities, Budapest (Hungary) experienced the highest growth in searches (87.2%), a result reflected in actual tourism figures, which have risen by nearly 40% (according to Euromonitor) over the same period. 


The next biggest increase in searches for travel among cities was Seoul (South Korea, +70.5%), followed by Copenhagen (+68.24%) and Tel Aviv (+63.3%). 


The once-thriving resort of Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) saw the greatest drop (-91.5%) in travel interest, followed by St Petersburg (Russia, -79.65%) and Cairo (-74.67%). 


But while interest in travel to Egypt fell significantly throughout the decade, recent numbers indicate that tourism there is clawing its way back. So watch this space... 


Budapest, Hungary


Comparethemarket’s research looked at the 100 most visited cities from 2008 to 2018 (according to Euromonitor).


10 countries with the biggest increase

Philippines +170.45%

South Korea +76.11%

Saudi Arabia +56.41%

Kazakhstan +47.83%

Netherlands +43.17%

Taiwan +41.67%

Poland +26.29%

Bahrain +23.51%

India +13.46%

Germany +12.15%


10 countries with the biggest decrease

Egypt  -84.80%

Tunisia -71.20%

Turkey  -67.04%

France  -54.34%

Brazil  -49.46%

Dominican Republic -46.29%

Puerto Rico -43.10%

Australia -42.43%

Bulgaria -41.53%

Ireland -41.30%


10 cities with the biggest increase

Budapest +87.20%

Seoul +70.48%

Copenhagen +68.24%

Tel Aviv +63.31%

Warsaw +63.08%

Chennai +62.83%

Jeju +61.90%

Kyoto +61.25%

Jaipur +53.33%

Lisbon +53.14%


10 cities with the biggest decrease 

Sharm El Sheikh  -91.47%

St. Petersburg  -79.65%

Cairo -74.67%

Las Vegas -60.13%

Varna - 51.03%

Phuket -47.70%

Miami -47.56%

Penang -46.56%

New York -45.21%

Calgary  -42.73%  



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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 15 April 2019

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