Dolly Dy-Zulueta – Philstar.com
January 28, 2024 | 1:57pm
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese New Year has always been a favorite time for travel for Filipinos. Joining the rest of the world in revenge travel, Filipinos are taking advantage of the long weekend of Chinese New Year (which falls on February 10 this year) to take a leisurely trip to relax and see the auspicious occasion in a different light.
The question now is: Where do most Filipinos want to travel for Chinese New Year? The answer might not be a surprise as this destination has been consistently a favorite at any time of the year for most Filipinos.
According to booking data from digital travel platform Agoda, which is based on bookings made between January 1 to 15 for check-ins on February 9 or 10, Japan is the top destination for Filipinos for the Chinese New Year.
Aside from Japan, Filipinos are also visiting other short-haul flight destinations, with Hong Kong in second place, Thailand third, South Korea fourth, and Singapore rounding out the Top Five choices. The preferred international cities for Pinoy travelers include Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Osaka and Singapore.
On the other hand, looking at which travelers will be visiting the Philippines during the Lunar New Year, Agoda’s booking data highlights South Korea, China, United States, Japan and Singapore as top inbound markets. The ranking showcases the diversity of tourists that the country continues to attract. The five most popular destinations visited within the Philippines are Manila, Cebu, and beach hotspots Boracay, Bohol and Palawan.
Although officially celebrated on a Saturday, February 10, this year’s Lunar New Year holiday extends to a long weekend in many markets across Asia as well as a week-long celebration for China, Japan (Spring Holiday) and Vietnam (Tet).
The holiday, also known as Chinese New Year, is traditionally one of the peak travel moments for tourists from mainland China. For the first time since 2019, China is back in contention, ranking third source market overall and securing a spot in the Top 5 inbound lists for Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“The Lunar New Year period is a significant time for travel, and this year is no different. Since 2019, hotels and destinations have diversified the appeal of their markets with visa-free travel and other incentives. That has made them less reliant on one market and more appealing to new travelers. But the travel industry will no doubt be looking forward to welcoming back more travelers from China this year,” said Enric Casals, associate vice president Southeast Asia at Agoda.
Regionally, the trends echo a similar sentiment. The most outbound travelers hail from markets like South Korea, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan. The most visited markets by these international tourists include Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, showcasing a wide range of cultural and leisure options. Cities like Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, and Osaka remain appealing, underscoring the region’s rich urban and cultural diversity.
Agoda’s digital travel platform, offering over 3.9 million holiday properties, flights and activities, is positioned to cater to these evolving travel preferences.