This very welcome news comes after the New York-based online travel company Koala analyzed online searches as people across the globe began looking at prospective vacation destinations after the pandemic.
The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, an unincorporated US territory which Americans do not even have to have a passport to visit, came in first place in the searches, and perennial favorite Mexico was a close second.
But Greece remarkably came in sixth place, as Americans began to dare to dream once again of international travel.
First of any European nation
It placed first of any European destination, above longtime favorite destinations such as the UK and France.
Koala states that the data, presented in its report “Future Travel Trends,” indicates that most Americans are planning a closer trip just as soon as the pandemic-related travel restrictions make that possible.
The study encompasses a total of 247,000 online searches by users in the United States. Quite surprisingly, the tiny nation of Iceland came in second place in that metric, with an impressive 189,000 searches.
“Magnificent temples, ancient historical roots and birthplace of democracy”
Koala says that “it appears many have their eyes set on the birthplace of democracy, with ancient historical roots and magnificent temples.”
However, striking a bit of a downbeat note, the country’s capital city of Athens came in at 37th on the list of “City/Region Preferences.”
Beaches are “number one”
Koala co-founder and chief executive Mike Kennedy stated in his company’s report that “Beaches factor as the number one most searched trips for the American traveler. While Puerto Rico ranks #1 in searches, Americans are by no means limiting themselves to destinations close to home; wanderlust is alive and well.”
The company’s list of top country destinations reflects the total number of searches made for each destination between April and October of 2020. The data was sourced using Google Ads’ “Keyword Planner.”
The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a quick jaunt, only about four hours away from major cities such as New York, Dallas, and Philadelphia.
However, a surprising number — or perhaps, not surprising, considering how many of us al over the world have been cooped up at home for almost a year — of Americans are planning on traveling much further afield, with the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, taking third place in the number of searches.
Koala bills itself as a small company, founded and based in Brooklyn, New York. Their stated mission is to transform the way people take vacations, to make it easier for travelers to rent timeshares at beautiful resorts, and help timeshare owners cover expenses for a space they can’t use.