Roughly 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. Google is the traveller’s best friend when it comes to planning a trip. It can help you with researching your destination, booking your flights and obtaining your visa. So what information are travellers searching for about visas?
You can find out a lot about a person by going through their search history. Where do they want to go? What do they want to know? What are their worries, fears, wishes and dreams for their next trip?
Americans are some of the most frequent travellers in the world. Mexico and Canada are among their preferred destinations. So naturally, Americans turn to Google with questions about visa requirements for these destinations.
In contrast, Brits typically visit fellow European countries like Turkey and Spain for their summer holidays. In light of Brexit, those dreaming of their next European getaway are wondering if they’ll need a visa to travel to countries in the EU post-Brexit.
Below you can see the latest data about Google search trends around the globe. Come back to our page whenever you want to see how this is changing over time!
A Trip to Turkey Is Tempting
Brits made over 2.5 million visits to Turkey in 2019. And it is clear that they’re looking forward to holidaying in Turkey again. With beautiful sites like the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and 1,175 km of coastline along the Black Sea, we can’t blame them! ‘Do I need a visa for Turkey’ has around 2,000 searches a month in Britain.
The popularity of a destination also has a lot to do with the political relations between the countries. In February 2021, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed Pakistan’s parliament on a 2‐day trip to Islamabad. He is the only foreign head of state to have addressed the country’s parliament 4 times.
Find out how to get your Turkey travel visa here.
Brits Are Looking Into the Land Down Under
Over 700,000 British nationals visit the home of the Sydney Opera House every year. And some never leave! Australia is the most popular destination in the world for UK expats. 1 million Brits live here, charmed by the sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle.
The Australian government actively looks to attract global talent to its shores. There are 2,300 monthly searches on average for the GTI visa. The Global Talent Independent Program is a streamlined visa pathway for highly skilled professionals to work and live permanently in the country.
If you’re hoping to visit soon, whether it is to visit family, for business, or on holiday, be sure to check the country’s travel requirements before you book your flights.
Data and the Indian Diaspora
The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world. According to the UN, in 2020,18 million Indians were living outside their homeland. Thousands of people look up information about visas to India each month, whether this is because they’re looking to visit family, as a tourist, or for business.
‘Visa for India’ has almost 4,000 monthly searches globally. Over 1,000 of these are from users in the United States. Not so surprising when you consider that the US is home to 3 million individuals of Indian origin. Reconnecting to your roots can also be an important incentive to travel.
So where else do Indians like to travel to? Here are the countries that Indian passport holders most frequently search for visas to:
Well, Indians tend to visit the Asia Pacific region and they are the largest source market for Dubai. 32% of global searches for ‘Dubai visa’ come from users based in India. Indians also make up the largest part of the population in the United Arab Emirates.
New Types of Visa for a Digital World
Visa trends show us a lot about how the world of work has and continues to evolve. In today’s globalised economy, more and more professionals seek employment opportunities outside the country they were born in. And with remote working now being the new normal, the possibility of working from anywhere with a wifi connection is no longer a pipedream.
A number of nations are looking to attract digital nomads to their country to work. This trend seems to have piqued the interest of Americans in particular.
This graph shows which countries have searched for Digital Nomad Visas the most in the last year:
Barbados was the first country to capitalise on the digital nomad visa opportunity. Who wouldn’t be tempted to work from paradise for a year?
Dubai is also positioning itself as an attractive remote working destination. Its 1-year virtual working program allows remote workers to live and work by the beach. Globally there are around 22,000 searches for ‘Dubai visa’ per month.
Find out more about upcoming remote working destinations.
Google searches also reflect changes to visa policies and advances in technology. Travellers are demanding more efficient and safer solutions to manage their paperwork.
Electronic travel authorisation allows for the application process to take place entirely in a virtual environment. This makes things much easier for both travellers and the immigration officials reviewing the paperwork.
Evisas help to simplify processes. They can open up new tourist markets as well as strengthen current tourist markets. So what countries are people looking for eVisas to?
Curiously, 11% of the global searches for ‘eVisa’ are by people living in Saudi Arabia.
Many programs and processes have been automated in the last decade. There are 21,000 monthly searches globally for the ETA Canada, for example. This is the abbreviation for the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorisation which tourists coming from Australia, Britain and a number of other countries must obtain in advance of travel.
Digital processes can also be used to determine who can enter a country visa free. This is the case with the ESTA, the automated system that assists in determining eligibility to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.
What Will You Search for Next?
With the digitalisation of travel paperwork increasing security and efficiency, this trend looks set to continue in the weeks, months and years to come! What types of information will you require next time you plan a trip?