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Celebrating Spring (Festival): Tokyo Takes Top Destinations Spot for Asian Travelers During Lunar New Year 2020

Tokyo, Bangkok and Taipei are the top three destinations for travelers from across Asia to celebrate the Lunar New Year, according to data from Agoda, one of the world’s fastest growing digital travel platforms. This year, Tokyo nudged Bangkok off pole position, steadily climbing the ranks from third place in 2018 to the top spot, while Taipei moves to third place.

In fact, Taiwan is a key destination this year, with four of the market’s cities featuring in the top ten, Taipei (#3), Taichung (#4), Kaohsiung (#6) and Tainan (#9). Other favorite destinations to welcome the Lunar New Year include Seoul (#7) and Chiang Mai (#10).

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Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, sees the biggest global migration as revelers across the globe visit family and friends. Spending quality time with family and enjoying tasty treats for reunion dinners takes precedence during the Lunar New Year, making it a perfect time for the whole family to travel together. It is little wonder then, that Japan, Malaysia and Thailand secured top overall destinations for Asian travelers, to bring in the Lunar New Year — each offering their own unique blend of mouth-watering eats, cultural experiences and shopping havens for every member in the family to enjoy.

 

Lunar New Year Travel Highlights by Market:

 

  • Travelers from China are flocking to Japan with Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo the top international destination cities for Chinese travelers.

 

  • Japan is the number one country for travelers from Thailand this Spring Festival, with eight of the top 10 cities in Japan.

 

  • Meanwhile, Japanese travelers are heading to more tropical destinations this Lunar New Year – Thailand’s Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai scooping 1st, 3rd and 9th spots respectively while Singapore, Cebu and Honolulu come in 7th, 8th and 10th. Meanwhile Seoul moves up from 4th in 2019 to 2nd spot for this year.

 

  • South Korean travelers are also heading for beach destinations to celebrate ‘Seollal’ with top ten entries including Nha Trang (#3), Da Nang (#4), (in Vietnam), Cebu (#6) (in Philippines), Guam (#8) (in Micronesia) and Bali (#10) (in Indonesia).

 

  • Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are the main beneficiaries from Singapore travelers this Lunar New Year, while Batam, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur scoop the top three cities’ titles.

 

  • Travelers from Taiwan are heading to international destinations to celebrate the Spring Festival are flocking to Japan with 7 of the top 10 top destinations within the country. South Korea’s Seoul (#6) and Busan (#9) are also winners this year.

 

  • Vietnamese travelers celebrate ‘Tet Nguen Dan’ (or Tet), and this year, once again, travelers seeking international destinations are heading to the bustling cosmopolitan cities Bangkok (#1), Singapore (#2), Taipei (#3) to celebrate.

 

  • Malaysia, the second most visited country for travelers from across Asia this Lunar New Year, also scoops five of the top 10 international destinations for Indonesian travelers — Kuala Lumpur (#1), Genting Highlands (#4), Penang (#6), Johor Bahru (#8), and Kuching (#9).

 

  • Malaysian travelers heading for international shores are choosing neighboring Thailand for five of its top destination cities (Hat Yai, #1; Bangkok, #2; Krabi, #3; Phuket, #4; and Koh Lipe, #10).

 

Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations for travelers across Asia in 2020 (Agoda)

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Malaysia Japan Japan
Thailand Malaysia Malaysia
Japan Thailand Thailand

Top Cities

Bangkok Bangkok Tokyo
Kuala Lumpur Tokyo Bangkok
Tokyo Kuala Lumpur Taipei
Taipei Taipei Taichung
Malacca Taichung Osaka
Osaka Kaohsiung Kaohsiung
Seoul Osaka Seoul
Manila Malacca Kuala Lumpur
Taichung Hong Kong Tainan
Singapore Penang Chiang Mai

 

China

 

With a week-long holiday from school and work, Chinese have the greatest opportunity to travel abroad for the Lunar New Year. The top three destinations for this year’s break are all within Japan — Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo — pushing the country to the top of the list of destination countries.

 

China: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018 2019

2020

Top Countries

Japan Japan Japan
Thailand Thailand Thailand
Philippines Philippines Philippines

Top Cities

Hong Kong Hong Kong Tokyo
Bangkok Tokyo Osaka
Tokyo Bangkok Sapporo
Taipei Osaka Seoul
Phuket Phuket Singapore
Chiang Mai Sapporo Kyoto
Sapporo Taipei Phuket
Osaka Kyoto Bangkok
Bali Chiang Mai Bali
Kyoto Bohol Cebu

 

 

Indonesia

 

Even though Lunar New Year was only instituted as an official holiday in Indonesia in 2003, the holiday has become one of the most prominent celebrations in the country. In 2020, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand remain as the most popular countries to travel to for the second year running. Malaysia leads the pack with no shortage of great destinations within the country for Indonesians to head to. This includes Kuala Lumpur (#1), Genting Highlands (#4), Penang (#6), Johor Bahru (#8) and Kuching (#9). 2020 also marks the first year that Osaka (#7) and Kyoto (#10) appears on the list of favorite destinations for Indonesians during the Lunar New Year.

 

On the flip side, Singaporeans also have a preference for celebrating their Lunar New Year holidays in Indonesia — with the country placing second in Singapore’s list of favourite destinations. Beach destinations are most popular among these city-dwellers, with Batam (#1), Bintan (#6) and Bali (#7) appearing in this year’s list.

 

Indonesia: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia
Singapore Japan Japan
Japan Thailand Thailand

Top Cities

Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
Singapore Singapore Tokyo
Bangkok Tokyo Singapore
Tokyo Bangkok Genting Highlands
Hong Kong Penang Bangkok
Penang Johor Bahru Penang
Johor Bahru Sapporo Osaka
Malacca Genting Highlands Johor Bahru
Kuching Kuching Kuching
Seoul Hong Kong Kyoto

 

Japan

 

Japanese travelers appear to be heading to more tropical destinations for Lunar New Year in 2020, with Thailand — the ‘Land of Smiles’ — being the top choice. Within Thailand, Bangkok (#1), Pattaya (#3) and Chiang Mai (#9) come out as part of the top 10 destination cities this year. A new addition to Japan’s list is the city of Angeles/Clark in the Philippines, known for its shopping, food, and nightlife.

 

This year, Japan is also a destination where Lunar New Year travelers from around the region flock to, with the country topping the chart for overall travelers within Asia, as well as those from China, South Korea and Thailand.

 

Japan: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018 2019

2020

Top Countries

Thailand Thailand Thailand
South Korea Philippines South Korea
Philippines USA Philippines

Top Cities

Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok
Seoul Pattaya Seoul
Taipei Manila Pattaya
Manila Seoul Manila
Pattaya Taipei Taipei
Cebu Bali Angeles/Clark
Hong Kong Honolulu Singapore
Singapore Cebu Cebu
Bali Singapore Chiang Mai
Kuala Lumpur Hong Kong Honolulu

 

Malaysia

 

Thailand, Japan and Indonesia continue to be hot favorites among Malaysians for the past three years. Neighboring Thai city destinations — from shopping capitals like Hat Yai (#1) and Bangkok (#2), to beach retreats such as Krabi (#4), Phuket (#6) and Koh Lipe (#10) are popular in 2020. This is also the first year that Tokyo enters the top three, after a steady rise from eighth place in 2018 and fifth place in 2019.

 

Being at the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia attracts many tourists from the region during the Lunar New Year — making it the second-most visited country among Asians in 2020.

 

Malaysia: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Thailand Thailand Thailand
Indonesia Indonesia Japan
Japan Japan Indonesia

Top Cities

Hat Yai Hat Yai Hat Yai
Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok
Singapore Singapore Tokyo
Krabi Phuket Krabi
Phuket Tokyo Bali
Bali Krabi Phuket
Jakarta Bali Singapore
Tokyo Taipei Taipei
Taipei Koh Lipe Seoul
Ho Chi Minh Batam Island Koh Lipe

 

Singapore

 

For the third year running, Singaporeans prefer celebrating Lunar New Year closer to home. Neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have consistently ranked top of the list — providing a quick getaway for the locals during the holiday. Batam Island (#1) and Johor Bahru (#2) and Kuala Lumpur (#3) are also some of the closest — being a short ferry, car, or plane ride away.

 

The city of Singapore also features highly as a Lunar New Year destination among the Vietnamese and Indonesians — achieving second and third spot, respectively.

 

Singapore: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia
Indonesia Thailand Indonesia
Thailand Indonesia Thailand

Top Cities

Batam Island Johor Bahru Batam Island
Johor Bahru Bangkok Johor Bahru
Kuala Lumpur Batam Island Kuala Lumpur
Bangkok Kuala Lumpur Tokyo
Malacca Tokyo Malacca
Bali Malacca Bintan Island
Tokyo Bali Bali
Taipei Taipei Taipei
Bintan Island Osaka Osaka
Phuket Phuket Desaru

 

South Korea

 

Lunar New Year is known as Seollal in South Korea and is one of the most celebrated festivals in the country. Korean travelers know what they want from their Seollal break, and their travel patterns reflect that well, with Japan, Vietnam and Thailand remaining firm favorites among locals for the third year running.

 

South Korea is also a popular destination to head to during Spring Festival, with Seoul achieving seventh place among travelers across the region. The city is also particularly favored by others in the Northeast Asian region — hitting second place for Japan and fourth in China.

 

South Korea: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Japan Japan Japan
Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam
Thailand Thailand Thailand

Top Cities

Osaka Fukuoka Bangkok
Tokyo Osaka Fukuoka
Fukuoka Tokyo Nha Trang
Taipei Sapporo Da Nang
Bangkok Bangkok Taipei
Sapporo Taipei Cebu
Da Nang Da Nang Tokyo
Okinawa Okinawa Guam
Kyoto Kyoto Osaka
Hong Kong Cebu Bali

 

Taiwan

 

Unsurprisingly, Lunar New Year is a big deal in Taiwan. The holiday traditions are all centered around having fun with family and friends — and traveling together is often seen as a great opportunity to bond while experiencing something new. For the second year running, Japan, Thailand and South Korea make the country’s top three list of countries to head for Spring Festival celebrations. The favorite international destination city among travelers from Taiwan seems to be holding steady, too, with Tokyo maintaining its number one spot. This is followed closely by Okinawa and Osaka, as well as the first (and only) entry by Thailand — Bangkok.

 

Taiwan’s extravagant celebrations haven’t gone unnoticed by others in Asia, either. Taipei (#3), Taichung (#4), Kaohsiung (#6) and Tainan (#9) have all secured a spot in the region’s top 10 destinations for Lunar New Year.

 

Taiwan: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Japan Japan Japan
South Korea Thailand Thailand
Thailand South Korea South Korea

Top Cities

Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo
Osaka Osaka Okinawa
Okinawa Okinawa Osaka
Seoul Bangkok Bangkok
Kyoto Kyoto Kyoto
Bangkok Seoul Seoul
Hong Kong Fukuoka Fukuoka
Busan Hong Kong Nagoya
Singapore Nagoya Busan
Fukuoka Sapporo Sapporo

 

 

Thailand

 

Lunar New Year is widely celebrated in Thailand, despite the day not being official national holiday. Falling on a Saturday in 2020, Lunar New Year presents a perfect opportunity for Thais to travel. Among Thai travelers, Japan continues to be a hot travel destination, with Tokyo (#1), Osaka (#2), Sapporo (#3), Nagoya (#4) and Kyoto (#8) being popular picks, and hidden gems like Takayama (#5), Hakodate (#6) and Fujikawaguchiko (#7) making the list as well.

 

Among regional travelers, Thai cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai are also highly sought-after destinations to ring in the Lunar New Year – which place second and tenth respectively in our 2020 list. Thailand’s scenic beaches and lively shopping options are particularly attractive to those in Malaysia, with Hat Yai (#1), Bangkok (#2), Krabi (#4), Phuket (#6) and Koh Lipe (#10) all being part of their top 10 list for Lunar New Year travels.

 

Thailand: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018

2019

2020

Top Countries

Japan Japan Japan
Laos Laos Vietnam
Malaysia Vietnam South Korea

Top Cities

Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo
Osaka Sapporo Osaka
Singapore Osaka Sapporo
Seoul Taipei Nagoya
Kuala Lumpur Vientiane Takayama
Yangon Hokodate Hakodate
Taipei Nagoya Fujikawaguchiko
Kyoto Takayama Kyoto
Hong Kong Yangon Singapore
Siem Reap Hong Kong Seoul

 

 

Vietnam

 

In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is also known as Tet Nguyen Dan (or “Tet”) and is a time for everyone to spend time with their families. Traveling to Thailand (or more specifically, Bangkok) seems to be an annual tradition for Vietnamese travelers, with the destination consistently ranking first over the past three years. Outside of Thailand, the Vietnamese have diverse tastes in their travel preferences — with Singapore (#2), Taipei (#3), Tokyo (#5) and Bali (#6) all making the cut.

 

Vietnam is yet another hot spot to visit during the Spring Festival — with the country achieving second place in the list of top country destinations for South Korea. Top cities that made the cut for the Koreans include Nha Trang (#3) and Da Nang (#4).

 

Vietnam: Top 10 Lunar New Year Destinations in 2020 (Agoda)

2018 2019 2020

Top Countries

Thailand Thailand Thailand
Cambodia Japan Japan
Malaysia Cambodia Malaysia

Top Cities

Bangkok Bangkok Bangkok
Singapore Singapore Singapore
Kuala Lumpur Taipei Taipei
Taipei Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
Phnom Penh Siem Reap Tokyo
Siem Reap Chiang Mai Bali
Seoul Phnom Penh Seoul
Pattaya Pattaya Phuket
Bali Tokyo Chiang Mai
Phuket Seoul Pattaya

 

 

 

Agoda booking data from origin markets across Asia was collated for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Lunar New Year dates:

  • 16 – 17 February 2018
  • 5 – 6 February 2019
  • 25 – 26 January 2020

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