Travelers were looking for new experiences to celebrate the start of 2022. Famous cities remained hot destinations but the travel trend to ‘escape’ to more off-beat nature or beach destinations dominated this year’s New Year’s Eve plans, according to data from digital travel platform, Agoda. And again this year, travelers are chose luxury to welcome in the New Year.
While Asia wide, capital cities dominate each market’s top destinations for New Year’s Eve, including the return of Bangkok to Thailand’s number one spot, world class beach destinations like Goa (India) (India #1), Bali (Indonesia), Cebu (Philippines), Pattaya (Thailand) and Jeju Island (South Korea), as well as Penang, the food capital of Malaysia also made the list with partygoers this year taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions to be more adventurous and exploring further. Agoda’s data shows that across many markets there are many newcomers to this year’s top ten, including coastal destinations Batam Island (Indonesia, #10), Andaman and Nicobar Island (India, #7), and Kenting (Taiwan, #10). Lush green mountains and scenic destinations, including Khao Kho (Thailand, #9), Bohol (the Philippines, #8), and Ninh Binh (Vietnam, #10) also gain in popularity. In Vietnam, Sapa and Dalat knock Hanoi out of this year’s top three.
Travelers are taking care of themselves after on-and-off lockdowns this year. According to data by Agoda, the preference for 4-5 star hotels is even stronger with Taiwan and Thailand travelers upgrading to 4-5 star hotels, from 1-3.5 star accommodation for New Year’s Eve this year, joining Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam travelers who continue to choose 4-5 star venues to celebrate the arrival of 2022. In India, 1-3.5 star hotels remain popular among travelers, reflective of trends in 2020.
“Travel is back, although domestic travel remains the predominant source of business for Asian destinations during this NYE celebration season. Agoda data shows that in addition to the big city, traditional, celebration destinations, travelers across Asia are showing their ongoing desire to get out, to getaway and to escape the constrictions and controls of Covid impacted cities. The city staycay is booming. Equally the appeal of Asia’s beaches, stunning scenery and freedom of open space has people heading for the coast and mountains in droves. In Vietnam, Hanoi was knocked out of the top three by Sapa. Meanwhile Kuching in Borneo unseated Langkawi for a spot in Malaysia’s top three, and Boracay sprung into second spot for Philippines. In addition, consumers want luxury. There are great 4-5 star luxury hotel deals available during the COVID recovery. Data shows that Taiwanese and Thai travelers are booking higher star category hotels compared to last year, joining travelers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam in the hunt for a luxurious end to a tough 2021” says Tim Hughes, Vice President Corporate Development, Agoda.