Travel trends 2022 show that domestic travel remains number one for India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, while Singapore-based travelers are keen to explore newly opened borders, with neighboring Malaysia ranking top destination this Eid.
Meanwhile, booking data from digital travel platform Agoda reveals that Indians are seeking out warmer climates, with the Maldives topping the list of favourite international destinations followed by Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
When it comes to the APAC region, Thailand and Singapore as the most popular regional destinations for festive travelers, with Thailand leading the pack in making the top five destination list for all countries. This is followed by Singapore, which is placed in the top five for Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Indonesia and Malaysia are on par, emerging as Eid favorites for the two countries, respectively.
On the international front, Malaysians, Indonesians, and Filipinos are flocking to cooler weather with the United Kingdom and the United States appearing as a choice destination.
A further comparison between booking data over the festive period in 2019 and 2022 showed a shift in top ten destination choices for each country.
Japan was among the top destination choices in 2019 for most of the markets. However, this year, Japan slipped out of the top 10 list as the country still remains closed to tourists.
Other 2019 favorites such as China and Hong Kong also did not make the top 10 list this year with existing border closure. This indicates that countries that have been quick to ease restrictions and open their doors stand to gain from international tourist arrivals during this period.
Meanwhile, the top destinations this year also indicate that travelers are opting to travel further, with unassuming countries like France, Turkey, Germany, and United Arab Emirates emerging as top destination choices. Switzerland, famously known for rich milky chocolate and mesmerizing alpine scenery has etched itself into the top 10 destination list for all markets.
With most countries now transitioning to endemicity, the complete easing of restrictions comes as a breath of fresh air and delight for many especially as they gear up to celebrate Eid, a festivity largely spent with family, which marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in the Muslim calendar.
For many regions, the Eid celebration this year marks the first time since the onset of the pandemic that Muslims are able to travel freely, reunite and celebrate following the easing of travel restrictions.
Moreover, the month of May is popular among eager travelers across Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, and Indonesia) as the first two weeks of the month include three public holidays namely Labour Day (1 May), Eid (3-4 May) and Vesak Day (16 May), signaling a golden opportunity for travel.
Most popular destination comparisons by country over 2019 & 2022 Eid celebration period:
- The Maldives makes an entry to become the choice international destination for Indians this year. This is followed by Thailand (#3) and United Arab Emirates (#4).
- Despite border reopening, Malaysia dropped out of the list this year despite placing third in 2019.
- Thailand remains the top regional destination for Malaysians over the festive period, while Singapore overtakes Japan to claim the second spot.
- Malaysians opting for international destinations are looking to venture further this year with the United Kingdom (#4), Turkey (#6), Australia (#7), Switzerland (#9), and France (#10) making an entry to the top ten list.
- Malaysia maintains its position as the top regional destination for Singaporeans while Thailand shifts from the third spot to place second.
- Switzerland and United States make a welcome entry to the list as 2019 favorites such as Japan, China, and Taiwan remain closed to international tourists.
- The Philippines jumps from the bottom of the top ten leaderboards to fifth this year.
- Malaysia, which was the number two choice back in 2019 falls two spots down to fourth place in 2022 while Singapore rose to claim the second spot this year.
- This year also sees interesting new additions to the top ten list with the United States (#3), France (#5), Switzerland (#6), Turkey (#7), Netherlands (#9), Italy, and the United Kingdom (#10) making an entry.
- Filipino travelers’ top countries in 2019 – Japan (#2), Hong Kong (#3), and Taiwan (#4) were replaced by Singapore (#2), the United States (#3), and Thailand (#4) in 2022 due to border restrictions.
- Filipinos also have their sights set on European countries this year compared to 2019 where Asian countries dominated the list. This includes countries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
- Singapore moved from the sixth spot in 2019 to second in 2022, while the United States jumps to the third choice in 2022 after placing ninth in 2019.
Data is based on Agoda’s booking data collected on 11 April 2022, with comparable check-in dates as the week of Eid celebrations for each respective year – 1 to 9 June 2019 and 1 to 14 May 2022
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