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eDreams Travel Blog
  •   3 min read

While 2020 was a year like no other for travel, grounding most travellers to a halt, the year 2021 looks much more promising. Once the good news emerged about several covid-19 vaccines being close to release, we noticed an increase in consumer confidence for travel in 2021. We analysed booking data for the past year across all brands of the eDreams ODIGEO group and also compared pre- and post-vaccine announcements and we have some interesting findings. Check out below if you’re looking for inspiration on the best places to travel in 2021!  

The most booked destinations for 2021

Where to travel in 2021 - Lisbon, Portugal

 

We analysed all bookings done throughout the year 2020 for travel in 2021 and the results are in: Lisbon tops the chart as the most preferred destination for travellers this year. Istanbul takes second place, while Fort de France, in Martinique takes the third position. Besides Fort de France, only one other destination – Bangkok – is located outside Europe in the top 10. Most Europeans prefer nearby destinations, on the same continent, as the best places to travel in 2021. 

Long-haul holidays decreased to amount to just 20% of our customers’ top 10 preferences, a significant decrease from bookings analysed for 2020, in which 9 out of 10 destinations were long-haul, with Australia topping the charts. 

Where to travel in 2021 

The top 10 most booked destinations 

  1. Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Fort de France, Martinique
  4. Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  5. Tenerife, Canary Islands/Spain
  6. Paris, France
  7. Porto, Portugal
  8. Bangkok, Thailand
  9. Dublin, Ireland
  10. Alicante, Spain

Travel habits have definitely changed over the past year, with most travellers playing it safe and choosing to travel close to home, rather than venture out to other continents on long-haul journeys. 

Future travel trends once consumer confidence returns

Where to travel in 2021 - Dubai, UAE

 

We have also analysed the destinations our travellers search for in the period directly after the positive news on vaccine development, in early November 2020. 

After the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement, our European consumers immediately started searching for long-haul destinations such as Dubai, New York or Tokyo. We put together another list of the top 10 destinations searched, and in this new list only 3 destinations are within Europe, the remaining 7 span the world from Asia to North America and the Middle East. This important shift is an indication of the places consumers will focus their future travels on as confidence continues to return to the global market. 

Best places to travel in 2021  

The top 10 once confidence in travel returns

  1. Dubai, UAE
  2. New York, USA
  3. Bangkok, Thailand
  4. Tenerife, Canary Islands/Spain
  5. Istanbul, Turkey
  6. London, England
  7. Denpasar, Bali/Indonesia
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Malé, Maldives
  10. Cancun, Mexico

How long will the travels be in 2021

When looking at the duration of the trips our customers booked for 2021, over a third (35%) booked for trips of two weeks or more. And another 32% of bookings for 2021 are for trips of 7-13 days. This is an important increase from the 22% of travellers who took two-week holidays in 2020. The data from our consumers speaks for all of us, showing that we are all ready to travel more and further throughout this year, and the list above constitutes our consumers’ choice for the best places to travel in 2021.

Where we booked our travel for 2021 

In our study, we also noticed a change in the device on which the trips for 2021 were booked. 57% of our consumers booked on mobile – up from 45% last year, despite commuting less, which was previously a factor for mobile purchases. 

Best places to travel in 2021 – study methodology

To compile the top list of destinations to travel in 2021, we collected internal booking data from our 17+ million customers, across all brands of the eDreams ODIGEO group, throughout the year 2020 (until the end of November) for travel dates anytime in 2021. 

To compile the top list of most searched for destinations, we looked at search data between 9th and 22nd of November 2020, the two weeks following the announcement of the covid-19 vaccine positive development.

If you’re ready to travel again too, check out our best offers for flights and hotels around the world! 

 

Best airlines in the world

Now you know the best destinations for 2021, what about the airlines to take you there? The eDreams annual study compiles data from over 650 airlines to find the best airlines in the world. Click through the images below to find out the winners in each category.


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