Holidaymakers are looking forward to visiting none other than the United Arab Emirates next year

If you are desperately impatient for restrictions to be relaxed so you can travel to Thailand or take a tour of Australia, you should know that neither of these two countries will be the most sought-after destination in 2021. According to a study published by the tour operator Kuoni, in the event of a more favourable context for travelling next year, the United Arab Emirates will be the place that the greatest number of people want to visit.

What about you? What will be the first destination you will head to in 2021? At a time when the health crisis is still very present, along with drastic measures like airport testing and obligatory quarantine to counter the spread of Covid-19, the tour operator Kuoni set out to determine what will be the most sought-after vacation destination next year. The Swiss group, which offers high-end packages for stays in 80 destinations around the world, analysed data from Google searches to create a map of 131 countries. 

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The wish-list this study revealed was more than surprising. A new challenger has emerged on the list of must-see destinations that preceded the coronavirus pandemic. The United States along with Qatar and Canada tied in second place in the latest ranking, behind the United Arab Emirates, which is now the most sought-after destination for 2021. Placed third, Egypt appears to be in a good position to attract more visitors and rebuild its tourist industry. 

Stranger still, the destination most viewed by French potential tourists was Belgium, while the Spanish have their sights set on Italy, as do the Turks. On the level of Europe, travellers appear to be keen on the radical change of scenery offered by a trip to the Maldives, with Italians, British, Romanians, Bulgarians and Poles all dreaming of taking a plunge into the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

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Above Fiji (Image: Joe Cakacaka/Unsplash)

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans and Canadians are eager to embark for Japan. For their part, Australians would be happy to stay in Oceania with a trip to Fiji. 

It remains to be seen if all of these Internet searches will finally result in actual vacations. A lot will depend on the evolving health crisis in various countries and the rules and regulations imposed by health authorities around the world.