The Most Instagrammed Vacation Destinations of 2017

A preview of our newest Smart Social Report

Top Travel Destinations by Instagram Post Likes 

 
The size of each circle is relative to total volume of posts from travelers to each tourist destination. Destinations included are the twenty most visited cities in 2016. Color scale indicates likes per post; green circles indicate cities where travel posts receive the most likes, while red circles indicate cities where travel posts receive the fewest likes, on average. 

In our most recent Smart Social Report, we delved into millions of Instagram posts tagged with travel hashtags over the past year. Our analysis uncovered the most Instagrammed cities and countries across the world, as well as important insights about the people who travel to each destination. Here's a quick preview of what we found—or jump straight to the report to get all the details.

In 2016, Bangkok claimed the most total tourist visits of any city in the world, narrowly surpassing tourist visits to London and Paris. However, looking at travel patterns through an Instagram lens tells us a very different story, revealing surprising insights about where people are most likely to Instagram their vacations and how Instagram engagement varies based on where you travel.

Despite Bangkok attracting the most tourists, #Travel photos taken within the boundaries of Paris and London outnumbered #Travel photos taken in Bangkok each by about 2.5x. As we delved deeper into Instagram travel data, we noticed other discrepancies in posting behavior; for example, travel photos posted from vacations in Europe received more likes than photos from Asian vacations. The 150 thousand Instagram photos from vacations in Osaka, Japan received both the fewest likes and the fewest comments per post compared to vacation photos from any of the other top travel destinations. The two Middle Eastern cities that were among the top twenty visited in 2016—Istanbul and Dubai—received the most likes per post, followed by the only North American destination - New York City.

Travel photos posted from vacations in Europe received more likes than photos from Asian vacations.

 

We also delved deeper into Instagram post behavior for each of the twenty most visited cities around the world, looking in particular at which popular travel sites inspire the most photos per city. To explore top locations, number of visitors, post volume, likes and comments per post, click the links below.

 

Top Travel Destinations by Total Visitors 

Cities are ranked in order from most tourist visits to least tourist visits. 

1. Bangkok 

  • 21.47M visitors
  • 465K travel posts

2. London 

  • 19.88M visiors
  • 1.1M travel posts

3. Paris 

  • 18.03M visitors
  • 1.1M travel posts

4. Dubai 

  • 15.27M visitors
  • 96K travel posts

5. NYC 

  • 12.75M visitors
  • 757K travel posts

 

Most Instagrammed Locations by City

Bangkok, Thailand

London, England

Paris, France

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

New York, New York

 For more information on #Travel on Instagram, download our comprehensive Smart Social Report, #Travel: How Instagram Data can Inform Marketing, which includes:

  • The most photogenic cities and countries in the world, according to Instagram
  • How destination preference differs by traveler origin
  • The influence of local bloggers
  • How personal interests impact where New York City travelers are likely to visit
  • Where locals frequent versus tourists
  • The most popular tourist traps in Austin, Las Vegas, and Chicago
  • Unique hashtags used in the top travel destinations of 2017
  • How #TBT heightens vacation nostalgia during the year

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Justine Braun is a Senior Analyst in Research & Insights at Spredfast. Her career began in Chicago studying social data from a psychological perspective. When she’s not buried in spreadsheets, you can find her climbing rock walls, making ice cream, or rambling about female-fronted punk bands.