During 2020 and 2021 international tourist arrivals declined by over 70%, as borders closed, and we were all advised to stay home.

Now that the pandemic has subsided and travel restrictions have been relaxed many tourists are feeling confident to venture overseas again, and they are doing so in huge numbers.

But where are they going?

While some people have re-booked the trips they previously had to cancel; others spent their time in lockdown adding several new destinations to their bucket list.

With that in mind, 2022 was the start of a significant recovery for the global tourism industry and now tourism figures are close to pre pandemic levels.

Here are 12 of the most popular post pandemic travel destinations.


1. London, England

Piccadilly Circus London

London is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, attracting well over 30 million visitors from around the world every year.

Now that people can travel more freely to the UK, the country is currently welcoming tourists back in their droves.

With attractions from Buckingham Palace and the British Museum, to Harry Potter World and no less than six Premier League football teams, there is something in London for everyone.

That’s before we’ve even mentioned the likes of Big Ben, The London Eye, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Borough Market, Kew Gardens, The Shard, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Hampton Court..

View this 2 day London sightseeing itinerary for the ultimate short break ideas or to see more of the surrounds areas check out these day trips from London.


2. Dubai, UAE

Top things to do in Dubai

Offering everything from sensational architecture, and world class beaches, to luxury shopping, and happening nightlife, Dubai is one of the essential places to visit in the Middle East.

This city has really exploded in popularity as a tourist destination over the last decade and there are lots of things to do in Dubai. Also don't be put off by the cost, there are lots of ways to visit Dubai cheaply.

Due to its wonderful weather, it is an especially attractive place to visit in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. Tourist numbers soar between September and April as many people seek a sunny escape.


3. Bangkok, Thailand

Khao San Road, Bangkok

Bangkok is a stalwart on the international travel scene, and visitors have flocked back to the city since 2021.

Bangkok is one of the cities you need to visit in Asia, boasting something for everyone. The city has excellent shopping, wonderful nightlife, amazing food and a host of cultural and historic tourist attractions. Including the magnificent Royal Palace and the Wat Phra Kaew temple.

It is also a very family friendly destination with some world class hotels.

From Bangkok it is also very easy to explore more of the country and south east Asia, you could travel north to see some of the best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand or go south to explore the spectacular Thai islands.


4. Santorini, Greece

Sunset in Santorini

Greece is the word! Especially when it comes to popular post pandemic travel destinations.

The country took a massive hit during the pandemic, with tourism numbers falling by more than a half.

However, with so many wonderful places to visit in the country, and a location which is less than a 2/3-hour flight from most major cities in Europe, visitor numbers have significantly increased.

Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands to visit in Greece. Not least because it has some truly amazing volcanic beaches that are made up of red, black or white lava pebbles.

One of the best things to do in Santorini including heading to Oia and witness one of the world’s greatest sunsets.


5. New York, USA

The Big Apple might not have slept during the pandemic. But it also didn’t receive anywhere near as many tourists as it normally would.

However, you can’t keep a champion down and people are returning to New York City in huge numbers now international borders are open again.

With so many world class landmarks, attractions and entertainment venues, as well as a vibe unlike any other in the world, the city continues to offer tourists a diverse, high octane and truly memorable visitor experience.


6. Queensland, Australia

Airlie Whitsunday Islands

There are many wonderful places to visit in Australia. However, Queensland offers arguably the most blockbuster holiday experience for the international visitor.

Home to over 1700 amazing beaches, its east coast stretches for over 13,000 km, from the Gold Coast in the south, all the way up to Cape York at its northernmost point.

The state also features the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, as well as Surfer’s Paradise, The Whitsundays, Daintree Rainforest, Australia Zoo and of course the world class capital city of Brisbane - all are some of the best places to see on the east coast of Australia.

For much of the pandemic, Australia’s borders were closed to international travellers. Now that they are open, and Brisbane has been awarded hosting rights for the 2032 Olympics, this state is set to be the hottest tourist destination in the world in the coming years


7. Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles skyline

As the undisputed entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is a place which many people kept in touch with during the pandemic, via the countless TV shows and films they watched on TV and Netflix.

Since international travel restrictions have been lifted, the city’s main attractions become accessible and popular straight away.

These city has some of the most popular destinations in California. As well as visiting the likes of Universal Studios, Disneyland, Venice Beach, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and Rodeo Drive, you’ll also get to check out some world class wineries, breweries, nightclubs and restaurants.

If you want the full LA experience, booking a sightseeing bus will leave you feeling like an A-List movie star.


8. Paris, France

Paris tourist Eiffel Tower

With over 90 million international visitors, France was the most popular tourist destination in 2019. Now the pandemic restrictions have passed, France has retained its position at the top of the list and is likely to continue for the coming years.

Boasting such iconic landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and the Moulin Rouge, Paris, of course, is the jewel in its tourism crown.

Offering something for everyone, the city tops many people’s bucket list especially on any first time trip to Europe.


9. Agra, India

For many people India was sadly out of reach during the pandemic. Thankfully now the borders have opened again, this incredible country can more easily be accessed.

Mumbai, New Delhi, Goa, Chennai and Pune lead the way in terms of city destinations, along with Agra, which of course is the home to India’s number 1 tourist attraction – The Taj Mahal.

Situated right on the bank of the river Yamuna, this sensational marble mausoleum was commission in 1632 and completed sometime around 1653. As a World Heritage Site, it attracted up to 6 million visitors every year prior to the pandemic and will likely surpass these figures soon.

If you would like to do something rewarding on your holiday lots of volunteering programs in India are located in Agra where you can help communities, people, animals and the environment.


10. Florida

Disney Orlando

In 2021 Walt Disney World in Florida celebrated its 50th anniversary. While the pandemic somewhat curtailed the party, the festivities are back in full swing.

Walt Disney Word is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida not least because there are awesome rides, parades, shows and other live performances that people from around the world travel to see.

If you do head to Florida, don’t forget to check out the Epcot Center, Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom and its two water parks as well.

You'll soon understand why this is one of the best east coast US destinations, and also why millions of tourists from around the world visit the state every year.

For ideas for where to stay check out this guide to the best resorts in Orlando.