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Revealed: the most popular tourist destinations of 2022

Compared to passenger numbers in 2019, these countries have seen the most growth in tourism this year

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Travel trends come and go all the time. One moment everyone seems to be in Bali, then they’re in Lisbon, next they’re off to Costa Rica. But what about in 2022? Which destinations have been the most popular this year?

Flight ticket database company ForwardKeys has the lowdown. ForwardKeys has analysed destinations based not on total passenger numbers but on the amount that they’ve grown since 2019 – which was the last year when tourism was at similar levels – to show which destinations’ tourist industries have performed best over the past 12 months.

According to ForwardKeys’ data, the best performing country of 2022 has been the Dominican Republic, which has welcomed five percent more visitors this year than in 2019. Five percent might not seem like a lot, but, bearing in mind we’re still recovering from the pandemic, it’s a pretty impressive level of growth.

Next up in the study was Turkey, which managed to sustain the same levels of tourism as in 2019, followed by Costa Rica and Mexico, which both did the same.

Here’s the full top 10 countries that performed best this year in terms of visitor numbers, plus the percentage change compared to 2019.

  1. Dominican Republic (+5 percent)
  2. Turkey (0 percent)
  3. Costa Rica (0 percent)
  4. Mexico (0 percent)
  5. Jamaica (-5 percent)
  6. Pakistan (-5 percent)
  7. Bangladesh (-8 percent)
  8. Greece (-12 percent)
  9. Egypt (-15 percent)
  10. Portugal (-16 percent)

As you can see, plenty of countries ranked well not because they had more visitors than in 2019 but because they simply didn’t lose as many tourists as others countries. In other words, while the pandemic might be over, the travel sector is quite a long way from making a full recovery. 

You can read ForwardKeys’ full report here – and find out more about which travel spots have been the world’s trendiest this year!

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