Googel Zeitgest travel
5 years ago

World’s most searched-for travel destinations in 2012

In case you missed it over the holidays, Google published its annual Zeitgeist survey, which tracks 2012’s most popular searches in countries worldwide.

The search engine breaks down searches by category. Here are the results for a few travel-related categories:

The world’s “most searched national travel destinations”

Note: Google ranks these in the order of the queries with the largest volume of searches, translated from the local languages into English, when relevant. Tnooz has selected the top-listed destination. Google didn’t provide consistent information for all countries.

  • Argentina: top national destination, “Rosario“; top local search, “hotel”
  • Australia: top overseas destination, “New Zealand”; top local place, “Mount Hotham, Victoria
  • Brazil: “São Paulo”; top local search, “hotel”
  • Canada: most searched place in Google Maps: “hotel”
  • France: most searched place in Google Maps: “camping”
  • Germany: most searched foreign destination: “London”; most searched place in Google Maps: “hotel”
  • India: most searched for in-country spot, “Kerala”
  • Ireland: most searched for foreign place: “Benidorm,” in Alicante, Spain
  • Italy: most searched areas in Google Maps: “Cinque Terre”; most searched term in Google Maps: “hotel”
  • Japan: most searched place: “Tokyo Skytree”, a.k.a. Sumida Tower
  • Malaysia:”Legoland Malaysia”
  • Mexico: “London”
  • Netherlands: “Italy”
  • New Zealand: most searched overseas destination: “Rarotonga”
  • Norway: top trending: “Montenegro”; most searched: “USA”; most searched travel term: “SAS”
  • Philippines: most searched local attraction: “Manila Ocean Park”
  • Portugal: “Madeira”
  • Russian Republic: “New York”
  • Singapore: “Legoland Malaysia”; “Hong Kong” came in second
  • Slovakia: “Tatralandia”
  • Spain: “London”; most searched local place in Google Maps: “hotel”
  • Switzerland: “Barcelona”
  • United Kingdom: “Rio de Janeiro”; the second-most searched was “Greece”
  • United States: “Toronto”; most searched local place in Google Maps: “hotel”

If there’s one lesson to draw about travel-themed searches, it’s the power of the keyword “hotel.”

Too bad Google doesn’t open source its query data sets, or at least provide much deeper analysis.

Googel Zeitgest travel

The world’s top trending airlines

Note: Google lists these in order of the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011. Yes, this list is for worldwide searches, despite the large number of US carriers on it.

  1. Southwest Airlines
  2. United Airlines
  3. American Airlines
  4. Delta Airlines
  5. Air France
  6. Lufthansa
  7. British Airways
  8. JetBlue
  9. Air Canada
  10. US Airways

Google put together a video about the search term themes. (Note, you may want to turn the volume down before playing:)


After this, you may like to check out our roundup of the most popular posts on Tnooz in 2012.

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Iris Holidays

    Wow, Great to See Kerala over Taj Mahal in Indian Searches

    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      Yes, that was a surprise. So was seeing Toronto as the most searched-for in the US.

      • kelly

        Last I checked Toronto was in Canada, not the United States.

        • Dennis Schaal


          That’s right, Kelly. Americans were searching for information on Toronto. You can check the Google document to verify.


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