agoda reveals the most popular Lunar New Year destinations for Asian travelers
Tokyo has overtaken Bangkok as the number one Chinese New Year (CNY) destination for Asian travelers in 2018, a title held by Bangkok for the last two years, according to global online booking platform agoda.
Japan has taken three of the top spots as Kyoto makes an entry for the first time and Osaka moves up from 9th place in 2016 to 3rd top destination for CNY 2018. City escapes have dominated the rankings with only one beach destination – Phuket, Thailand – making the top ten.
The appeal of Tokyo’s nearby Yokohama Chinatown district – which hosts two weeks of events, including a countdown party, traditional lion dance performances, parades, and a Lantern Festival – has attracted travelers from all over the world, with the largest groups of foreign visitors hailing from Taiwan (26%), South Korea (15%) and Mainland China (15%).
Meanwhile other destinations such as Singapore and Chiang Mai have slipped down the rankings: from 3rd place in 2016 to 8th place in 2018 and from 7th place in 2016 to 12th place in 2018, respectively.
|1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Tokyo, Japan|
|2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Bangkok, Thailand|
|3. Singapore||3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||3. Osaka, Japan|
|4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||4. Taipei, Taiwan||4. Taipei, Taiwan|
|5. Taipei, Taiwan||5. Hong Kong||5. Seoul, South Korea|
|6. Hong Kong||6. Seoul, South Korea||6. Hong Kong|
|7. Chiang Mai, Thailand||7. Osaka, Japan||7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|8. Phuket, Thailand||8. Singapore||8. Singapore|
|9. Osaka, Japan||9. Chiang Mai, Thailand||9. Kyoto, Japan|
|10. Bali, Indonesia||10. Pattaya, Thailand||10. Phuket, Thailand|
Top ten CNY destinations for Asian travelers
TRAVEL DATA AT A GLANCE:
This year, Hong Kong wrestles back the top spot from Bangkok which slipped to 3rd place for Mainland Chinese travelers this CNY. Meanwhile, Phuket climbs to 2nd most popular spot as guests look for warmer beach resort holidays.
The most popular country overall for Mainland Chinese travelers is Thailand, which has three destinations (Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket) making an appearance in the top five year on year.
|1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Hong Kong|
|2. Chiang Mai, Thailand||2. Hong Kong||2. Phuket, Thailand|
|3. Phuket, Thailand||3. Phuket, Thailand||3. Bangkok, Thailand|
|4. Hong Kong||4. Chiang Mai, Thailand||4. Tokyo, Japan|
|5. Taipei, Taiwan||5. Tokyo, Japan||5. Chiang Mai, Thailand|
|6. Tokyo, Japan||6. Taipei, Taiwan||6. Taipei, Taiwan|
|7. Bali, Indonesia||7. Bali, Indonesia||7. Osaka, Japan|
|8. Samui, Thailand||8. Osaka, Japan||8. Sapporo, Japan|
|9. Boracay Island, Philippines||9. Nha Trang, Vietnam||9. Bali, Indonesia|
|10. Singapore||10. Kyoto, Japan||10. Boracay Island, Philippines|
Top ten CNY destinations for Chinese travelers
Mainland China will also be welcoming the most visitors from Hong Kong (29%) Taiwan (19%) and South Korea (18%).
Seoul holds on to the number one spot for Hong Kong travelers, however Japan is a big draw in 2018 with six destinations appearing in the top ten, including Fukuoka, Sapporo and Nagoya.
|1. Seoul, South Korea||1. Seoul, South Korea||1. Seoul, South Korea|
|2. Taipei, Taiwan||2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Tokyo, Japan|
|3. Tokyo, Japan||3. Taipei, Taiwan||3. Osaka, Japan|
|4. Bangkok, Thailand||4. Osaka, Japan||4. Taipei, Taiwan|
|5. Osaka, Japan||5. Bangkok, Thailand||5. Bangkok, Thailand|
|6. Macau||6. Macau||6. Macau|
|7. Guangzhou, China||7. Guangzhou, China||7. Fukuoka, Japan|
|8. Pattaya, Thailand||8. Sapporo, Japan||8. Kyoto, Japan|
|9. Singapore||9. Pattaya, Thailand||9. Sapporo, Japan|
|10. Okinawa Main Island, Japan||10. Kyoto, Japan||10. Nagoya, Japan|
Top ten CNY international destinations for Hong Kong travelers
Indonesians are more inclined to celebrate the Lunar New Year close to home, with 65% of locals preferring to take advantage of the beautiful beaches and bustling cities on offer in their home country. The top three domestic travel destinations this year are Bandung, Bali and Yogyakarta. For those seeking adventure off-shore Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Tokyo are the top international destinations.
|1. Bandung, Indonesia||1. Bandung, Indonesia||1. Bandung, Indonesia|
|2. Bali, Indonesia||2. Jakarta, Indonesia||2. Bali, Indonesia|
|3. Jakarta, Indonesia||3. Bali, Indonesia||3. Yogyakarta, Indonesia|
|4. Yogyakarta, Indonesia||4. Yogyakarta, Indonesia||4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|5. Singapore||5. Surabaya, Indonesia||5. Singapore|
|6. Malang, Indonesia||6. Singapore||6. Jakarta, Indonesia|
|7. Surabaya, Indonesia||7. Bogor, Indonesia||7. Tokyo, Japan|
|8. Bogor, Indonesia||8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||8. Malang, Indonesia|
|9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||9. Semarang, Indonesia||9. Bangkok, Thailand|
|10. Solo (Surakarta), Indonesia||10. Malang, Indonesia||10. Puncak, Indonesia|
Top ten CNY destinations for Indonesian travelers
Though Tokyo is attracting the most travelers from across Asia for CNY, agoda’s booking data suggests that many Japanese won’t be celebrating locally this year, with 70% taking advantage of the long holiday to go long-haul – with Bangkok, Seoul and Pattaya as the top foreign hotspots for this year’s travelers. Those that do stay locally will be heading to Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa.
|1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Bangkok, Thailand||1. Bangkok, Thailand|
|2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Tokyo, Japan|
|3. Pattaya, Thailand||3. Seoul, South Korea||3. Seoul, South Korea|
|4. Seoul, South Korea||4. Pattaya, Thailand||4. Pattaya, Thailand|
|5. Manila, Philippines||5. Manila, Philippines||5. Osaka, Japan|
|6. Chiang Mai, Thailand||6. Osaka, Japan||6. Manila, Philippines|
|7. Bali, Indonesia||7. Kyoto, Japan||7. Okinawa Main Island, Japan|
|8. Taipei, Taiwan||8. Cebu, Philippines||8. Bali, Indonesia|
|9. Singapore||9. Sapporo, Japan||9. Taipei, Taiwan|
|10. Osaka, Japan||10. Taipei, Taiwan||10. Cebu, Philippines|
Top ten CNY international destinations for Japanese travelers
Malaysians are more inclined to celebrate the Lunar New Year in their own backyard, with nine out of the top ten hot spots domestic destinations. Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Penang have held the top three spots since 2016, while beaches of Langkawi and the cool climes of Cameron Highlands attract travelers looking to escape the cities.
Thailand is the only foreign country to make the top ten in 2018 with Bangkok and Hat Yai making appearances at 4th and 5th place, respectively.
|1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|2. Malacca, Malaysia||2. Malacca, Malaysia||2. Malacca, Malaysia|
|3. Penang, Malaysia||3. Penang, Malaysia||3. Penang, Malaysia|
|4. Langkawi, Malaysia||4. Johor Bahru, Malaysia||4. Bangkok, Thailand|
|5. Port Dickson, Malaysia||5. Bangkok, Thailand||5. Hat Yai, Thailand|
|6. Johor Bahru, Malaysia||6. Ipoh, Malaysia||6. Langkawi, Malaysia|
|7. Bangkok, Thailand||7. Langkawi, Malaysia||7. Ipoh, Malaysia|
|8. Ipoh, Malaysia||8. Port Dickson, Malaysia||8. Port Dickson, Malaysia|
|9. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia||9. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia||9. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia|
|10. Kuantan, Malaysia||10. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia||10. Johor Bahru, Malaysia|
Top ten CNY destinations for Malaysian travelers
When it comes to CNY travel, Singaporeans favor nearby Southeast Asian destinations, which make up eight of the top ten destinations year on year. Batam Island, Bangkok and Johor Bahru have held the top three spots for Lunar New Year destinations since 2016.
Singaporean travelers hit the beach over CNY, while Tokyo, Taipei and Bangkok are the most popular further flung international destinations.
|1. Batam Island, Indonesia||1. Batam Island, Indonesia||1. Batam Island, Indonesia|
|2. Bangkok, Thailand||2. Johor Bahru, Malaysia||2. Bangkok, Thailand|
|3. Johor Bahru, Malaysia||3. Bangkok, Thailand||3. Johor Bahru, Malaysia|
|4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|5. Malacca, Malaysia||5. Malacca, Malaysia||5. Malacca, Malaysia|
|6. Bali, Indonesia||6. Bali, Indonesia||6. Bali, Indonesia|
|7. Bintan Island, Indonesia||7. Tokyo, Japan||7. Tokyo, Japan|
|8. Phuket, Thailand||8. Phuket, Thailand||8. Taipei, Taiwan|
|9. Tokyo, Japan||9. Bintan Island, Indonesia||9. Phuket, Thailand|
|10. Hong Kong||10. Taipei, Taiwan||10. Bintan Island, Indonesia|
Top ten CNY international destinations for Singaporean travelers
While Taiwanese travelers love to stay and explore Taiwan, those visitors seeking international experiences favor Japan for their CNY celebrations with Tokyo holding the number one destination since 2016. Other Japanese destinations – Okinawa, Osaka and Kyoto – also make an appearance in the CNY top ten for 2018.
|1. Tokyo, Japan||1. Tokyo, Japan||1. Tokyo, Japan|
|2. Kaohsiung, Taiwan||2. Taipei, Taiwan||2. Taipei, Taiwan|
|3. Taipei, Taiwan||3. Taichung, Taiwan||3. Kaohsiung, Taiwan|
|4. Osaka, Japan||4. Kaohsiung, Taiwan||4. Taichung, Taiwan|
|5. Taichung, Taiwan||5. Osaka, Japan||5. Osaka, Japan|
|6. Tainan, Taiwan||6. Tainan, Taiwan||6. Seoul, South Korea|
|7. Bangkok, Thailand||7. Seoul, South Korea||7. Tainan, Taiwan|
|8. Kyoto, Japan||8. Kyoto, Japan||8. Okinawa Main island, Japan|
|9. Hualien, Taiwan||9. Hualien, Taiwan||9. Kyoto, Japan|
|10. Seoul, South Korea||10. Yilan, Taiwan||10. Bangkok, Thailand|
Top ten CNY destinations for Taiwanese travelers
Taiwan has one-third of travelers hailing from Mainland China, 19% coming from Hong Kong and South Korea (16%) this CNY.
About the research
Destination booking data was collated for CNY dates in 2016, 2017 and 2018 across Asia.
Ready to embark on your own CNY adventure? Check out these agoda homestays, hotels and hostels for some inspiration:
Tokyo, Japan: Citan Hostel
Bangkok, Thailand: Park Hyatt Bangkok
Osaka, Japan: Osaka Tsutenkaku Family Apartment
Taipei, Taiwan: Just Inn Taipei
Seoul, South Korea: Makers Hotel
Hong Kong: Icon Hotel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Luxe Studio at Damansara Perdana
Singapore: PARKROYAL On Pickering
Kyoto, Japan: The Celestine Kyoto Gion
Phuket, Thailand: COMO Point Yamu