ForwardKeys has published the Most Popular City Destinations report for this summer and the results of the top 100 cities listed will surprise you. Not only are newcomers climbing up the ranking list at the speed of light but consumers are showing a healthy appetite for urban destinations and shopping is number one on the list. Hello Dubai, London, Paris and Bangkok!

Based on ForwardKeys’ Flight Search data, which is the most comprehensive source available, covers billions of searches per year, via an extensive selection of online travel agencies, airlines and metasearch companies including Google Flights, Kayak,, Skyscanner, Wego, and more. It is much sought after by tourism organisations seeking to gauge the temperature on travel intent versus travel demand.

Top of the most popular city list this summer is Bangkok, far ahead of the second most searched destination, Paris. As over 1.1 billion searches were analysed for the report, to make the list more digestible, ForwardKeys has produced the ranking indexed on the basis that Bangkok is 100.


The search rankings are also compared to last year, giving a rise and fall in relative popularity. Bangkok is up three places, pushing Paris off the top spot. London holds its position, in 3rd place. In capturing 4th position, Bali’s capital, Denpasar, rose six places, pushing down Barcelona to 5th, Lisbon to 7th, Istanbul to 8th, Madrid to 9th and Palma Mallorca to 11th.

A new entrant in the top ten was Athens, up one place from 11th, while New York rose two places from 8th in 2022 to 6th this year.

Emerging city destinations

Impressive risers that charged into the top twenty were Tokyo, up 53 places to 13th, Kuala Lumpur, up 24 places to 14th, Singapore, up 14 places to 12th and Manilla, up 8 places to 19th. Their rise is principally explained by the late relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, which triggered a surge in interest.

The top ten list of highest climbers are dominated by Asian and Australian metropoles, which, last summer, were still subject to some of the strictest pandemic travel regulations. The highest climber is Taipei, up 161 places to 56th.

Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights, ForwardKeys, said: “Congratulations to Bangkok on becoming this summer’s top of the travel pops. Its popularity is a clear sign that with the reopening of the Asian markets, we are about to see the first “normal” summer since the pandemic, with 19 mainstream Asian cities listed in the top 100. The Caribbean also deserves congratulations because it has managed to maintain its popularity in the face of greater competition from numerous other destinations which are now open again.”

Learn more about the changes in top source markets; flight searches versus bookings and read the full city destination index by downloading the report now.


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2023-07-20T14:22:41+02:0019/06/2023|All, DMO, In the News|
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