The coronavirus pandemic pretty much shut down travel and tourism around the world beginning in March 2020. In 2021, however, as the widespread distribution of vaccines allowed more tourists to hit the road again, the industry began to recover. And while tourist levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, and the omicron variant has again prompted travel advisories, there is more optimism in the travel industry.
So where did tourists go before travel shut down again at the end of 2021 — and what attractions did they see?
To determine the world’s most popular Instagram attractions, 24/7 Tempo reviewed global luggage storage network Stasher’s Ranking the World’s Best Tourist Attractions. The 99 attractions were selected based on several measures, including Instagram engagement, which was determined by the number of likes on 200 Instagram posts on each attraction’s hashtag. 24/7 Tempo’s list includes the top 40 attractions by Instagram engagement.
Most of the attractions on the list are those that can be enjoyed outdoors, such as the monumental Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Stonehenge in England, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (These are the most colorful natural wonders on Earth.)
The top 40 attractions also include three theme parks. Somewhat surprisingly, the list includes six museums and art institutes, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris, as well as several mosques, cathedrals, churches, and temples.
Of the top 40 tourist attractions on the list, eight are in the United States, half of them in New York City. France has the next-most attractions in the top 40 with five, including such must-sees as the Eiffel Tower and Palace of Versailles. China has four attractions on the list, among them the Forbidden City. (These are the most popular U.S. attractions on Instagram.)
The timeless attractions of the Colosseum in Rome, the Acropolis in Athens, and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo continued to prove to be irresistible to those on Instagram — but they are not the most popular attractions on the list.