DatabankThere’s much for Asia to celebrate in the Year of the Rabbit as flight bookings increase by 250%.

Travel hops into a prosperous year with flurry of flight bookings

Travellers from Singapore are the top market for flight bookings in APAC.
Travellers from Singapore are the top market for flight bookings in APAC. Photo Credit: Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore

B2B digital marketing platform Sojern has discovered that ahead of this year’s Chinese New Year, international travellers are keener than ever to visit Asia Pacific. Flight bookings to Asia are up 250% despite the global inflation.

“While the impact of inflation in the region hit last year, our data shows travellers aren’t willing to sacrifice travel this holiday season,” said Lina Ang, Managing Director APAC, Sojern. “At Sojern we’re considering this year’s Chinese New Year as the “first” normal year despite economic uncertainty.”

Which are the markets with the most flight bookings to APAC?

 1 Singapore 16.48%
 2 United States  12.15%
 3 Thailand 8.6%
 4 Taiwan 7.86%
 5 Japan 7.27%
 6 Australia 6.41%
 7 South Korea 4.27%
 8 Germany 3.86%
 9 Philippines 3.79%
 10 Malaysia 3.78%

Travellers from Singapore top the chart for booking flights to other destinations in Asia Pacific. It is then followed by travellers from the United States, which Sojern speculates could be due to the strong US dollar against other currencies. Japan comes in fifth in the chart, probably stemming from the long-anticipated loosening of their outbound Covid-19 travel restrictions.

What are the top Asia destinations that people want to travel to?

 1 Thailand 26.75%
 2 Japan 19.41%
 3 Singapore 17.58%
 4 Philippines 9.8%
 5 Malaysia 8.47%
 6 Taiwan 5.62%
 7 South Korea 5.33%
 8 China 4.36%
 9 Hong Kong 2.66%

Thailand has emerged as the top destination that global travellers are looking at in flight searches. Though Singapore has dropped in its ranking for flight searches – from first in 2022 to third in 2023 – the Lion City is the top destination country based on hotel searches for 2023 comprising 21% of all searches despite average hotel room rates hitting a 14-year high last year.

Delving deeper within these countries, the top destination state that travellers are looking at is Bangkok, Thailand at 22%. This is then followed by Tokyo, Japan (15%), Manila, Philippines (9%), Phuket, Thailand (7%) and Taiwan (7%).

How long are travellers staying?

From its analyses of flight bookings, Sojern observes that travellers are staying longer during the 2023 Chinese New Year period. Some 27% of travellers are staying up to a week as opposed to only 9% in 2022. However, lesser travellers are staying more than two weeks, with 31% over 15 days long compared to 35% in 2022.

Travellers are also gathering their friends and relatives to embark on their adventures, with 15% booking and 14% searching flights for groups of three or more for the holidays, compared to only 5% and 6% in 2022, and 24% booking hotels for three or more versus 20% last year.

“Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and hoteliers should take note of those destinations showing the most interest from inbound international and regional travellers, and use intent data to reach these potential travellers with messaging from your particular destination or property,” Ang advises. “With 2023 holiday bookings up on 2022 levels overall we’ll be watching closely to see if reports that APAC is expected to close the rebound gap are realised.”

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