Visualising popular travel destinations through heatmaps

Rome2rio Heatmaps
Published April 17, 2015

Rome2rio provides users with multi-modal travel directions to destinations that range from large cities down to exact addresses. With over 200,000 visitors daily, this provides us with a unique repository of data about travelers’ preferences for various destinations. Visualizing this data as heatmaps of popular destinations for users from specific countries allows us to gain some insight into the travel preferences of different markets.

We prepared heatmaps by processing all user queries on Rome2rio in 2014, mapping each query onto the user’s location (aggregated by country), and the co-ordinates of their searched destination. We visualized this data by producing per-country heatmaps for ten of Rome2rio’s top markets. Our heatmaps highlight regions that are more popular with users from a particular country than they are with users from other countries.

Rome2rio’s destination heatmaps show the relative frequency with which users search for destinations around the world, broken down by the user’s country. In this blog post, we explore some trends that we have observed in playing with this data, broken down by the country in which users are located.

United Kingdom: Brits especially love France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the coast of Spain and southern Turkey (around Fethiye). The east coasts of the US and Australia are also popular.


United States: Americans love the UK, Italy (especially Tuscany and Umbria regions) and other non-coastal parts of Western Europe. The Greek Islands and Israel are popular, as is India (perhaps NRIs searching for journeys home). Cuba is noticeably less popular, though we can expect this to change in view of improving relations between the two countries.


Indian: Indians love traveling the US east coast. Switzerland, the Middle East, eastern Asia, Africa, and New Zealand also rate highly.


Brazil users: South and Central America are naturally popular with Brazilians, as is Florida, New York and California. Of course, Portugal is a frequently searched destination and Italy rates a mention.


Spanish users: Spaniards frequent their European and African neighbours, but Germany and Romania are also popular destinations. Spanish speaking regions of South America also rate highly.


In addition to the countries already mentioned, Rome2rio’s destination heatmaps also cover Germany, Australia, France, Canada and Italy. Share your insights and discoveries with us via Facebook and Twitter (@rome2rio)!

Written by
Co-founder & CEO
Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at