Maldives ranked most popular destination of 2021

A new study by Club Med has revealed which destinations people are looking to travel to in 2021 by analysing Google search data. In the most unusual year for travel, Club Med looked at where people are most desperate to go to in the new year.

With ever changing restrictions, a pandemic meaning some countries were less safe to travel to than usual and a country dying to get out of their homes and into a new environment, the results are revealing.

Top 10 travel destinations of 2021 (by search volume):

  1. Maldives: 2,960
  2. Mexico: 2,930
  3. Thailand: 1,600
  4. Turkey: 1,300
  5. Spain: 880
  6. US: 730
  7. Malta: 720
  8. Portugal: 590
  9. Mauritius: 480
  10. South Africa: 390

Exotic international travel destinations reign supreme as the most popular countries people want to visit in 2021. Holidaymakers seem to be looking to travel far from home next year with the Maldives as the country at the top of people’s list.

Mexico and Thailand come in second and third, each country as exotic as the last.

Looking at Europe, Brits want to travel to Turkey, Spain and Malta in the new year following a trend of people wanting to go to sunny spots over more prominent winter destinations.

Recent booking data from Club Med also shows that Italy has recently been a popular choice. Kamarina in Sicily saw a large increase of 214% in September compared to the same time last year while Cefalù, also in Sicily, saw an ever larger increase of 350 per cent.

Top 10 travel destinations of 2020 (by search volume):

  1. Greece: 74,500
  2. Maldives: 74,200
  3. Turkey: 74,000
  4. Mexico: 49,550
  5. Spain: 49,500
  6. United Kingdom: 49,470
  7. Barbados: 33,400
  8. Croatia: 33,350
  9. Cyprus: 33,100
  10. Thailand: 33,000

Greece came out as the top destination for people in the UK looking to get away after a long year of uncertainty and restrictions. The country was one of the first to open back up to travellers after the first lockdown, and since then has been a popular spot for Brits.

The Maldives is the second most popular country. People who have saved up over lockdown may now have more disposable income, meaning a Maldives holiday that may traditionally be too expensive is now officially on the cards.

Turkey came in third place with a mad rush of people looking to travel to the country once restrictions were lifted. Club Med has seen a 155 per cent increase in booking to their Palmiye resort in September compared to the same time last year.

People looking to travel closer to home and spend their holidays in the UK increased massively over the past year with 49,470 people looking for staycations. With more restrictions preventing people from taking an overseas holiday, they instead spent time exploring the great outdoors in their own country.

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

Club Med, the French pioneer of luxury all-inclusive holiday experience, runs two resorts in the Maldives; Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu Villas.

Occupying the island of Gasfinolhu, a 40-minute boat ride from the main Velana International Airport, Club Med Finolhu Villas features 52 villas — overwater and on the beach — that line the sunrise and sunset sides of the island.

Finolhu Villas sets itself from other properties in the Maldives with its “eco chic” offering; built from sustainable materials and 100 percent powered by the solar panels that line the roofs of the jetties.

Located on a paradise island garden in the Maldives with a magnificent lagoon in the north of Male atoll, Club Med Kani is a quiet and unique resort, ideal for couples. 

An 800-metre sandy, private beach is equipped with deckchairs, parasols, hammocks, showers and a beach bar, while guests also have access to an infinity pool located on the edge of the beach, a sailing academy with specialist instructors and the Club Med Spa by Mandara Spa.

Two restaurants and two bars are on offer and for Five Trident guests, the Five Trident Luxury Space provides an exclusive area with luxury accommodation, private swimming pool and access to all the services and activities at the resort.

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