Tokyo ranks top tourist destination in Asia

Yosakoi dance Pic tokyostorynet
Yosakoi dance – Pic tokyostorynet

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.

2016 2017 2018
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

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, Malaccaand 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 Hait Yai making appearances at 4th and 5th place, respectively.

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.

Malaysia World News/PRNewswire.

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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