Lonely Planet Writer

Barcelona, Las Vegas and Medellin are most popular places in a billion searches

Barcelona is trending and Las Vegas has beat out New York as the top searched travel destination for this year, according to travel search engine Kayak’s analysis of over a billion searches.

Barcelona.
Barcelona. Image by Matt Munro

Kayak released its 2016 Travel Hacker Guide, an interactive tool that is based on more than one billion annual searches, which data scientists and travel experts analysed to gain insight into where to go this year, whether you’re looking for a city break in the US, an international destination, a beach vacation or a five-star hotel stay.

Las Vegas Strip to get new music venue.
Las Vegas Strip. Image by Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0

For travellers thinking about a trip in the US, Sin City beat out the Big Apple – the most popular destination for 2015 – putting New York in second place. Those cities are followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Miami, Washington and Seattle.

The top 10 trending cities internationally – which Kayak describes as the cities that have seen the greatest increase in interest among travellers over the last year – are Barcelona (in first place), followed by Madrid, Kona, Tokyo, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Milan, Dublin, Manila and Athens.

Madrid city centre.
Madrid city centre. Image by Ángela Ojeda Heyper / CC BY 2.0

When it comes to “luxury for less” Kayak notes that Asian cities dominate the list. Kayak ranked the 10 cities that have the lowest five-star hotel rates as follows: Medellin, Columbia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Istanbul, Turkey; Phuket, Thailand; Beijing, China; Panama City, Panama; and Athens, Greece.

Maui, Hawaii.
Maui, Hawaii. Image by Daniel Stockman / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking for a beach that is about to get popular, the top trending beach destinations are as follows: Maui, Hawaii; Cartagena, Columbia; Kona, Hawaii; Brisbane, Australia; Malaga, Spain; Auckland, New Zealand; Barbados; Fiji; Curacao; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In addition to charting the various travel destination trends, the Travel Hacker Guide also provides trip planning information.