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The top travel trends of 2012 as defined by Google searches


Dec 12, 2012 9:32 am

Skift Take

Travelers overwhelmingly search international destinations that fall close to home with the exception of classic tourist destinations like London, Paris, Rome, and Manhattan.

— Samantha Shankman

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Google's map of the biggest moments in 2012. Google /

Google released its annual review of the most popular and fastest growing search terms from around the world today. The searches provide an unique insight into where people were looking to travel, where they were exploring on Google Maps, and what airlines were getting the most buzz.

Top trending airlines for 2012, worldwide: Six of the top trending airlines around the world were U.S. carriers along with two European carriers and Air Canada. It’s surprising that no Gulf carrier makes the list considering their considerable growth this year.

Most searched international travel destinations from the U.S.: The list shows the tendency of many Americans to stay close to home when traveling abroad with seven locations either in the Canada or the Caribbean.

The most searched cities in Google Maps from the U.S.: Is it any surprise that San Francisco tops the list with Mountain View just a short drive away?

Trending travel destination queries from the UK: Brazil is the most sought after international destination with Rio and Brazil falling in the top three. The remaining destinations are closer to home with three cities in the UK and 4 destinations within Europe.

The most searched overseas destinations from Australia: All of the destinations are located within the Eastern Hemisphere with the majority of searched destinations falling within Asia.

Trending travel destination queries from Germany: The most searched for travel destination was London, due to the summer Olympics, and followed by New York and Paris. Seven of the destination were only a short flight away in Europe.

Trending travel searches from Mexico: Half of the trending travel destinations were located right inside Mexico. The only U.S. city that made the top list was Manhattan despite Mexico’s proximity to popular destinations in California. The remaining international queries were for European cities.

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