Forget New York, Paris and London, as Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has been the most searched city on Google Street View since its launch 15 years ago. Surprisingly, the top tourist destinations in the world are not necessarily the most popular in this virtual navigation service. Since its creation, Google Street View has collected no less than 220 billion images to offer a virtual tour for Internet users, who can effectively roam the streets of a hundred countries and territories around the world . More than 16 million kilometers have been covered to digitize roads, landscapes and other paths and walkways in three dimensions, according to the Mountain View tech giant.
Street View is effectively a virtual window onto the world, except that, in this case, the top destinations aren’t always the ones that attract the most travelers to the real world. Indeed, the winner in this virtual world is Indonesia. In the ranking of the most visited countries on Google Street View, a country famous for its Komodo dragons comes first, while its capital Jakarta tops the list of Street View’s most visited cities by Internet users. Although before the pandemic, Indonesia had achieved its best year for tourism, welcoming 16 million visitors, the country was by no means one of the world’s premier destinations.
The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism expects 1.8 to 3.6 million visitors this year. That’s a far cry from the 90 million tourists choosing France as a travel destination – a country that takes a modest 9th place in this ranking, ahead of the United Kingdom (10th). The rest of the top 10 include the United States (2nd), Japan (3rd), Mexico (4th), Brazil (5th), Spain (6th), Italy (7th) and Taiwan (8th).
However, the virtual world meets the real world when it comes to the tourist destinations that attract the most interest from internet users. Here, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the top spot, followed by the Eiffel Tower in France and the Taj Mahal in India.
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