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The happiness of traveling: a Spanish view

March 19, 2021

The “happy destinations” most booked from Spain on are Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden

  • In the last four years, the countries with the highest percentage of one-way tickets from Spain are Australia (76%), Sweden (74%), Denmark (74.4%), and New Zealand (71.5%)
  • This year, enquiries from Spain to “happy destinations” are led by Amsterdam, with more than 1.5 million searches

Barcelona, ​​18 March 2021 – What do countries like Denmark, Canada, New Zealand or the Netherlands have in common? They are always among the happiest destinations in the world in the rankings of many studies on quality of life. Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated 20 March as the International Day of Happiness* to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. 

In celebration of the United Nations International Day of Happiness*,, the leading online travel technology company, has looked at travel behaviours to some of the happiest destinations in the world from the Spanish market.

What are the factors to consider destinations happy? The World Happiness Report** points out that “the Nordic countries are characterized by a virtuous cycle in which several key institutions and cultural indicators of society complement each other, including a well-functioning democratic system, generous and effective social benefits, low levels of crime and corruption, and satisfied citizens who feel free and trust each other and government institutions”.

The study concludes that the so-called “Nordic happiness” is also available to countries further from this geographical area, such as Switzerland or Australia. The formula for success is usually governed by similar patterns: “Ensure that state institutions are of high quality, not corrupt, capable of delivering what they promise, and generous in caring for citizens in the face of various adversities”.

Considering the list of “happy countries”, the most bookings made to these destinations from Spain are Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Copenhagen, Billund, Aarhus, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, and Eindhoven are among the preferred cities. At the other extreme, with the least bookings, is New Zealand, probably due to the high ticket prices. In the last four years, Spain has seen one-way tickets purchased to destinations such as Australia (76%), Sweden (74%), Denmark (74.4%) and New Zealand (71.5%), which could indicate moves due to work or family reasons.

Although, since 2018, only Copenhagen has managed to enter the Top-10 most booked places from Spain on, other destinations do appear in the Top 30, such as Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Reykjavik. The company’s data also shows that, since 2018 the average stay in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland is less than three days – perfect destinations for a weekend getaway – while for Iceland and Canada the time ranges between one and two weeks and in more distant destinations, such as Australia, it rises up to three weeks to two months.

According to another study***, people who travel frequently are 7% happier than those who don’t. In 2021, although travel has been severely impacted by the pandemic, “happiness destination” searches from Spain are currently led by Amsterdam, with more than 1.5 million searches, followed by Zurich and Copenhagen with about 900,000, and Geneva with 760,000. Stockholm, Oslo, and Helsinki have also been destinations of interest with around 400,000 searches since January.

A Spaniard in Copenhagen

Ignacio Escudero, an electronic engineer, has lived in the Danish capital since September 2017. He moved there from Madrid to study a master’s degree and currently works for a start-up in the health sector.

“I agree that Copenhagen is a happy destination, there is a better standard of living than in Spain and a much calmer mentality,” he points out. “From here I would highlight both the relaxed work culture and the honesty of the people. At first I had thought about returning to Spain, if I got bored of being here or if the conditions required it, but the truth is that the more time passes the more time I want to spend here”.

– Ends –

Notes for Editors

For more information, please visit 

*The International Day of Happiness 

**The World Happiness Report 2020, prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network 

***Washington State University study published recently in the magazine Tourism Analysis

About was founded in 2012 by Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi. The travel tech company was created for travelers by travelers. Its proprietary algorithm – Virtual Interlining – allows users to combine flights and ground transportation from more than 800 carriers, including many that do not normally cooperate. powers more than 100 million searches every day and employs 2,000 people worldwide.

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