Travel TrendsWhile Santa is travelling from the North Pole, where are the rest of the world’s travellers heading? We have the answers.

Festive travel is back, but things have changed

Sabre says travellers are opting to stay closer to home during the festive holiday break.
Sabre says travellers are opting to stay closer to home during the festive holiday break. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/haveseen

Sabre has taken a deep dive into festive season bookings to reveal just where people will be travelling over the next few weeks now that Covid restrictions are being lifted in most regions.

Americans are heading for the sun and tequila in Mexico in big numbers, hence the ranking of US-Mexico as the No 1 holiday route over the festive period.

Japan’s easing of travel restrictions is taking effect with South Korea to Japan the second most popular holiday route. South Koreans are also on the move to Vietnam, making it the fifth busiest exodus of tourists from one country to another.

South Korea is a major inbound source market for Thailand, with the Thai tourism body expecting to attract more than 500,000 Koreans this year and over 1.3 million during 2023.

Making up the 10 most popular travel routes in the weeks ahead is the India-Dubai segment. Sabre says, with eased travel restrictions, affordable accommodation options and short travel times between the two countries, the UAE is a popular destination for Indian travellers looking to spend time with their partners and family.

Sabre’s booking analysis shows most travellers are opting for destinations close to home for the upcoming holiday period, with 33% of global travellers choosing domestic travel, compared to 27% in 2019.

Key destination trends include:
• 67% of those traveling from Asia are choosing to stay within Asia. This was higher (70%) in 2019, with the drop likely due to ongoing border closures in China. Top destinations for Asia are Japan, followed by Thailand, which make up close to a third of bookings.
• It seems some travellers who may previously have gone to China have switched to Japan or Thailand, as Japan, Thailand and China together used to make up a third of trips in 2019.
• While Thailand remains within the top 10 global destinations for the festive season, it has dropped from number three position to five.
• Fewer travellers from India are choosing Vietnam this year, compared to 2019, while fewer Japanese travellers are choosing Thailand.

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