Qinthara Fasya | 28 December 2021
Cities take the top spot crown but beach and rural destinations rank high in this year’s top ten
Travelers are looking for new experiences to celebrate the start of 2022. Famous cities remain hot destinations but the travel trend to ‘escape’ to more off-beat nature or beach destinations dominates this year’s New Year’s Eve plans, according to the data from digital travel platform, Agoda. And again this year, travelers are choosing 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), Jeju Island (South Korea), as well as Penang, the food capital of Malaysia also make 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 the 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 Timothy Hughes, Vice President Corporate Development, Agoda.
Most booked destinations on New Year’s Eve
|Jakarta||Jakarta||Goa||Goa||Kuala Lumpur||Kuala Lumpur||Manila||Manila|
|Bali||Bali||Mumbai||New Delhi and NCR||Langkawi||Penang||Cebu||Boracay Island|
|Bandung||Bandung||New Delhi and NCR||Mumbai||Penang||Kuching||Tagaytay||Cebu|
|Seoul||Seoul||Taipei||Taipei||Pattaya||Bangkok||Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Busan||Jeju Island||Kaohsiung||Kaohsiung||Chiang Mai||Chiang Mai||Hanoi||Dalat|
- Jakarta remains #1 destination, offering a wide range of entertainment and lifestyle activities during NYE, followed with Bali (#2) that sees surge in visitors amid the loosening of travel restrictions. Bandung (#3), Yogyakarta (#4), and Surabaya (#5) hold their spots and round up the top five.
- Medan, as one of the biggest and the most popular city out of Java joins at #6, making the leap 4 spots from #10 in 2020.
- Batam which is famous for its beautiful beach and underwater scenery joins at #10 in 2021
|Mumbai||New Delhi and NCR|
|New Delhi and NCR||Mumbai|
|Pune||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
- Goa remains in the #1 spot once again, offering sea, sand and sun during NYE, followed by the country’s capital city of Delhi (#2) for some culture and cuisine and Mumbai (#3) to enjoy its hustle and bustle, Bangalore (#4) stays on the same spot as last year while Pondicherry (#5) beats Chennai by one spot
- New entrant Andamans and Nicobar Islands with its crystal waters, Udaipur known as the Venice of the East and Manali for its close-up view of snow cap mountains, rise in ranks this year pushing Hyderabad and Kolkata off the list entirely.
- Chennai and Jaipur stay on the top ten list in slightly different positions as last year
|Kuala Lumpur||Kuala Lumpur|
|Kota Kinabalu||Kota Kinabalu|
|Cameron Highlands||Genting Highlands|
|Port Dickinson||Johor Bahru|
- Kuala Lumpur retains its top spot as the go-to city for NYE celebrations for the third year running, with the hustle and bustle of the city’s happenings being a main draw for travelers
- Johor Bahru (#9) and Ipoh (#10) has etched its way into this year’s top ten, knocking out Kuantan and Cameron Highlands as people flock to food destinations to satisfy their cravings over the new year.
- Genting Highlands (#8) moved up the ladder this year as it opened its doors to new themed attractions, making it a big hit amongst tourists.
|Batangas||Angeles / Clark|
- The capital city of Manila retains its #1 spot leading up to NYE once again, followed by sunny Boracay at second spot., Cebu continues to stay in the top three spot with its rich history and proximity to multiple islands, In #4 spot is Tagaytay, close to the city center, offering scenic views of the Taal lake volcano and Baguio’s (#5) winter reminds Filipinos of winters in Europe
- New joiners Bohol known for its unique chocolate hills and nature and Davao City with its hustle and bustle of city life knocked Laguna and Iloilo off the top ten list
- Filipinos are craving city, nature and beaches all the same
- Boracay heads back into the top three destinations
- As a city representing Korean culture, Seoul is still the most popular travel destination for New Year’s Eve for a second year in a row.
- Jeju Island (#2) and Busan (#3) both changed their rankings. In the aftermath of Covid19 on Jeju Island, domestic travelers have increased even more, and it has become a popular attraction in Korea which is also popular among overseas travelers for New Year’s Eve.
- Incheon (#5) is still popular city with much to do and is where the international airport is located. SokchoCity (#6) and Gangneung City (#7) followed for a second year in a row, and these two cities are famous for their beautiful natural scenery and delicious food.
- Yeosu City (#8) and Pyeongchang-gun have changed their rankings and Yeosu is considered as one of the best sunrise spots for New Year’s Eve
- Drivable and urban cities like Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung where major New Year events are hosted are most popular cities on New Year’s Eve.
- Tainan (#4), Hualian (#5), and Chiayi (#7) rose on the ranking, while Taitung dropped 4 spots.
- Destinations famous for natural scenery, especially Hualien, Yilan, Taitung, and Nantou dominate this year’s list.
- Taiwan travelers this year prefer 4-5 star hotels to 1-3.5 star hotels.
|Chiang Mai||Chiang Mai|
|Hua Hin / Cha-am||Hua Hin / Cha-am|
|Chiang Rai||Chiang Rai|
- Bangkok returns to take the crown as top NYE destination in Thailand
- Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiangmai, Hua Hin/Cha-am, Khao Yai, Phuket and Kanchanaburi dominated the top seven, with marginal changes in ranking from last year.
- Krabi is nudged off the list. Khao Kho which is famous for its abundant nature and cooler weather at the end of the year joins at #8.
- Thai travelers this year are treating themselves, preferring 4-5 star hotels to 1-3.5 star hotels.
|Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Phu Quoc Island||Hanoi|
|Vung Tau||Phu Quoc Island|
|Da Nang||Nha Trang|
|Nha Trang||Da Nang|
|Phan Thiet||Phan Thiet|
|Quy Nhon||Ninh Binh|
- The capital city of Ho Chi Minh City has retained its top spot through the past two years for the NYE period, While Sapa has risen the ranks from #7 to #2 pushing Dalat into the third spot. Hanoi (#4) ranks next with its historic French and Chinese architecture for travelers to enjoy while waiting for international travel to open up. Phu Quoc Island, which will soon be opening up to the world ranks #5 for NYE celebrations this year
- New entrant Ninh Binh known for its untouched natural beauty pushes Quy Nhon off the top ten list this year
- Nha Trang rises from #8 to #6 spot for NYE celebration this year